What is stormwater and why is it a problem?
Stormwater is water from rain and snowmelt. As rain and snow falls to earth in agricultural and undeveloped areas, it is either absorbed or it slowly runs off and dissipates. In urban areas, where rooftops and paved areas prevent the water from being absorbed, problems arise as the runoff collects pollutants and carries them to nearby streams and lakes. Pollutants include gasoline, oil, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and bacteria.

Polluted stormwater runoff is a leading cause of impairment to the nearly 40% of surveyed U.S. water bodies which do not meet water quality standards. Left uncontrolled, this water pollution can result in the destruction of fish, wildlife, and aquatic life habitats; a loss in aesthetic value; and threats to public health due to contaminated food, drinking water supplies, and recreational waterways.

Show All Answers

1. What is the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Program?
2. What is a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)?
3. Which Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems are regulated by the Eastern Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit?
4. How are the regional stormwater utility service areas determined?
5. What is stormwater and why is it a problem?
6. What is an impervious surface?
7. How will the stormwater management program benefit taxpayers, homeowners, etc.?
8. What kinds of pollutants are found in the storm drain system?
9. Are sewers and storm drains the same thing?
10. What can residents do to help improve stormwater quality?
11. What can you put down the storm drain?
12. What happens if the Regional Stormwater group does not comply with its NPDES stormwater discharge permit?
13. What is meant by a "larger common plan of development or sale?"
14. What kinds of stormwater discharges are required to have NPDES stormwater permit coverage?
15. What is the stormwater fee used for?
16. How is the stormwater fee calculated?
17. Is the utility fee just another tax?
18. Why a stormwater utility now?
19. No water runs off my property. Why am I being charged a stormwater fee?