Watershed Protection Division - What is Storm Water What is Storm Water Home

What is Storm Water?

Storm water is rainwater, snow melt, or even water from a garden hose that flows into the storm sewer system. Storm water can come from many different sources including rooftops, street curbs, and paved areas. Once the excess water from these sources reach the storm sewer, the water is piped to the nearest creek, river, or stream untreated and could eventually end up in the drinking water supply. 
 
Why is storm water runoff not treated?
 
Storm water can be generated in large, unexpected rainfall events that can generate a large volume of water very quickly. The treatment capacity for the Jefferson County treatment plants would have to be increased costing taxpayer $$$.
 
The use of “green” technology or other alternatives can help treat the runoff on your property. The section on Low Impact Development (LID) will address the specific designs you can implement to lower your lot's impacts to water quality.
 
Storm water problems
 
As Jefferson County grows and prospers, so does its storm water needs. The issues that will be faced by Storm Water Management Authority, Inc. in the future are:
 
1. Increased flooding– when excessive storm water is allowed to run off property it can cause significant flooding issues.
2. Pollution contribution increases– as the use of chemicals (such as lawn fertilizers) , paved areas, and loss of soil increases so does the chance of pollution contamination of our various water resources.
 
What makes an effective storm water program?
 
An effective storm water program takes a combination of the following components:
· Engineering
· Science
· Land use planning
· Regulations
· Public education