Storm drains flow directly to our rivers and streams unfiltered. Water is
NOT diverted to a treatment facility. Storm drain water flows straight to a river or stream and eventually to the ocean. When it rains, anything dumped on the ground, roads, sidewalks, and driveways is washed into storm drains and water bodies. This includes pet feces, cigarette butts, trash, plastic bags and oil. Over 200 million gallons of used motor oil are improperly disposed of each year in America alone. That amount 📷of oil is equal to about 19 Exxon Valdez oil spills.
The accumulation of pollutants leads to diminished water quality. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in America, and have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, whales, and other marine creatures that mistake them for food. They contain thousands of chemicals that are carcinogenic to humans and the chemicals leach into water harming aquatic and marine life. Filters contain plastic, which breaks down but never disappears.
Dog waste is considered to be toxic by the EPA. The droppings Fido leaves behind contain disease-causing bacteria that can make people and wildlife sick. Dog waste can carry E.coli, fecal coliform, salmonellosis and other diseases. When it rains, dog waste is carried into storm drains and impacts creek and human health.
Washing your car can also have negative effects on our watersheds. If you wash your car in your driveway or a parking lot, the soapy water that washes off your car travels down the driveway and street and into the storm drain.
Dirty car wash water contains toxic pollutants from the car and the soap. Contrary to popular belief, this dirty wash water does not get cleaned at a wastewater treatment plant before it enters into the nearest stream, lake or sound. These contaminants can harm fish and wildlife, pollute streams, lakes and rivers, and even seep into our groundwater, an important source of drinking water.