Stormwater runoff is rainwater that falls on buildings, pavement or lawns and flows across these surfaces into nearby streams, rivers or lakes. As water flows across these impervious surfaces it collects pollutants, such as sediment, bacteria and nutrients that are then deposited into local waterways. In the summertime, runoff also heats up as it moves across hot pavement, increasing temperature in local water bodies which harms fish and other aquatic life. Fast moving runoff can cause erosion of stream banks or other areas depositing sediment into our rivers.
Stormwater runoff is the number one source of pollution to waterways in Massachusetts and across the country. There are effective stormwater management techniques that can reduce pollutants to waterways. Stormwater runoff, also called non-point source pollution, is a widespread problem as runoff can come from every surface across a watershed. Stormwater management needs to be practiced by both municipal governments and property owners for the most effective results.