Stormwater is rainwater that is unable to soak into the ground and runs off, collecting in the lowest lying area. The most stormwater runoff is generated from impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets where little to no rainwater can soak into the ground.
Stormwater runoff gathers various pollutants from the impervious surfaces and is routed through storm drains, pipes, and drainage ditches to natural waterbodies.
Why is stormwater managed?
In a natural area, a majority of stormwater is able to soak into the ground, but as a natural area becomes developed, more impervious area is created resulting in more stormwater runoff.
Stormwater in the City of Apopka can eventually make its way to local waterways such as the Wekiva and Ocklawaha River.
These rivers are some of the lowest lying areas and stormwater from the surrounding area eventually makes it to these waterbodies due to them each being part of a “watershed.” A watershed is an area of land that drains all the streams and rainfall to a single point or body of water. The word watershed is sometimes used interchangeably with drainage basin or catchment.
Pollutants in Stormwater
As stormwater flows along a surface, it can pick up various types of pollutants and enter a storm sewer system or flow directly to lakes, ponds, rivers, creeks, or wetlands. Pollutants that can be collected by stormwater include:
Oils and Greases
Trash and Litter
Paint or Concrete Washout
Sediment and Dirt
How can you help?
Below is a list of items that you can do to help reduce stormwater pollution:
Bag or compost grass clippings and leaf litter and store away from driveways, roads, and sidewalks
Dispose of household hazardous waste at the proper hazardous waste facility (link to household hazardous waste section)
Recycle used oils and other auto fluids (link to household hazardous waste section)
Clean up after your pets
Wash vehicles on grass rather than on paved surfaces
Absorb hazardous spills with cat litter or sand, do not wash down storm drains
Apply proper fertilizer procedures (link to fertilizer section)
Regularly inspect and maintain septic systems
Increase vegetative surfaces and trees to help absorb stormwater
Don’t park on the street during days designated for street sweeping