What is stormwater?
The flow of water that follows rainfall or the melting of snow. Some water is absorbed into the soil surface, some is used by plants, and some is evaporated into the atmosphere. Stormwater is the rest of the precipitation that runs off land surfaces and impervious areas. Stormwater runoff is a result of precipitation and runoff from land, pavements, building rooftops and other surfaces.
These surfaces do not allow rainfall to absorb into the soil surface like natural vegetation does. Stormwater runoff acculmulates pollutants such as oil and grease, chemicals, nutrients, metals, and bacteria as it travels across land. Heavy precipitation or snowmelt can also cause sewer overflows that may contaminate water sources with untreated human and industrial waste, toxic materials, and other debris.
Why should I be concerned about stormwater?
Stormwater runoff can impact the environment in many negative ways. As development and impervious surfaces such as asphalt and concrete increase, there is less area and capacity for soil and vegetation to absorb rainfall, and more rainfall becomes stormwater runoff. This can cause flooding and erosion of land areas and stream banks. It also carries pollutants and runoff such as herbicides and fertilizers to our streams, creeks, rivers and lakes.
Stormwater pollution affects us in ways that most people don't even realize. Trash in waterways and shorelines, growing algae plumes in lakes and bays, bacteria in our oceans, rivers and streams. Anything that can be washed into our waterways from the earth's surface when it rains - including oil and fluids from cars, fertilizer and pesticides from lawns and farms, or cigarette butts tossed to the ground - contributes to stormater pollution.
The more you know about stormwater issues such as flooding, pollution and stream erosion; the better equipped we can be to protect water resources and meet stormwater regulations.
Reporting possible environmental impact from surface water or stormwater.
Your Ohio EPA office investigates complaints and spills, and monitors compliance with environmental standards. Please use the contact information below, as provided by the Ohio EPA, to help protect Ohio's environment by identifying and reporting environmental concerns and violations. If you witness a significant release, or an environmental emergency that is ongoing, please call Ohio EPA's 24-hour emergency hotline (800-282-9378)
To report a suspected 'NON-EMERGENCY' environmental violation or concern, contact the appropriate Ohio EPA district office* during normal business hours (M-F, 8am - 5pm). Once a complaint is filed, Ohio EPA will further investigate your concerns.
For more information and educational resources, visit the followng websites:
* To contact Ohio EPA's central district office for Deleware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Knox, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway and Union counties, dial 800-686-2330 or 614-728-3778