Additional Information

What is Stormwater?

Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or melting snow flows over the ground.  Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, streets, and rooftops prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground.  To manage this, communities have storm sewers that help to carry stormwater away from homes and businesses.

Did you Know?

When it rains, the stormwater runoff is carried away by pipes and ditches of our storm sewers.  These pipes and ditches are different than our regular sewers because the water goes directly into our streams, rivers, and lakes.  Unlike sewage, stormwater runoff does not drain to a treatment plant.

As it flows, stormwater picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollution and carries it into our waterways where it can harm fish, frogs, and other aquatic plants and animals.  This is the same water that we use for swimming, fishing, and drinking.

New Importance

Communities like Henderson are facing new federal regulations to reduce pollution.  These regulations focus on improving the quality of our streams by reducing the amount of pollution carried by stormwater runoff into our waterways.

10 Simple Steps to Improve the Quality of Our Streams

  1. Don’t dump anything down storm drains.
  2. Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly.
  3. Put litter in its place.
  4. Pick up after your pet.
  5. Sweep driveways (do not spray wash).
  6. Collect yard waste & keep it out of storm drains.
  7. Use a car wash (they recycle dirty water).
  8. Recycle used motor oil.
  9. Check your car for leaks (fix them!).
  10. Have your septic tank inspected every 3-5 years.

What’s Happening?

Communities around the country are taking action to improve pollution controls.  Some of the activities include:

  • Increasing public awareness and involvement.
  • Eliminating illegal connections and discharges to the storm sewer system.
  • Increasing sediment controls at construction sites.
  • Requiring controls in new development to remove pollutants from stormwater.
  • Improving pollution prevention from community facilities such as maintenance garages, equipment areas, and work areas.

Did you Know…

Polluted stormwater runoff is a leading cause of impairment to unhealthy US waterways – nearly 40%.

Grass clippings left on the street or in the gutter become pollution in our ditches, creeks and rivers.  Don’t let your yard waste blow out into the roadway.  Collect the yard waste for disposal if it does get off of your property.

At Home and at Work

There are many ways to reduce pollution at home and work, beginning with the 10 Simple Steps.

Businesses such as restaurants, automotive services, construction/development, landscaping and agriculture can also take steps to reduce runoff pollution, including:

  • Promote recycling.
  • Keep dumpster doors closed and covered to help keep them clean and avoid leaks.
  • Use yard and deicing chemicals sparingly.
  • Cover or seed exposed soil so it doesn’t erode.
  • Dispose of hazardous materials (paint, chemicals) at proper facilities (not the trash).
  • Store and apply manure away from waterways.

How Can You Help?

Get Involved – Show support and contact your local stormwater program for ways to volunteer.

Stay Informed – Take an active interest in our waterways.  Find out what’s threatening them and what’s being done to protect them.

Do Your Part – Do not pollute, and report pollution entering our stormwater.

Remember that YOU are the SOLUTION to POLLUTION.

Understanding Stormwater

To find out more about stormwater, visit:

Environmental Protection Agency:

 For Kids:


Phone: (270) 826-2824