Rains, It Drains
Storm water is water from precipitation that flows across the ground
and pavement when it rains or when snow and ice melt. The water
seeps into the ground or drains into storm sewers. Storm sewers
are what you see at street corners or at low points on the sides
of the streets. Collectively, the draining water is called storm
Storm water becomes a problem when it picks up debris, chemicals,
dirt or other pollutants as it flows or when it causes flooding
and erosion of stream banks. Storm water eventually flows into a
stream, river or wetland. All of the pollutants storm water carries
along the way empty into these waters because storm water does not
get treated. • Pet waste left on the ground can get carried
away by storm water contributing harmful bacteria into our water.
• Vehicles that drip fluid (oil, antifreeze, gasoline) onto
paved areas where storm water drains is also carried into our water.
• Chemicals used to grow and maintain lawns can run off into
the storm drain when it rains or when we water our lawns.
• Waste from chemicals used in construction can wash into
the storm drain system.
Storm Runoff Issues
Rain is an important part of natures water cycle, but there are
times it can do more damage than good. Problems related to storm
water runoff can include: • Flooding caused by too much storm
water flowing over paved surfaces.
• Increased spending to maintain storm drains and storm sewer
systems that are clogged with excessive amounts of debris and dirt.
Prevent Storm Water Pollution
The following are some important ways you can help prevent storm
water pollution: • Properly dispose of hazardous substances
such as used oil, cleaning supplies and paint. Never pour them down
any part of the storm sewer system.
• Use pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides properly and
efficiently to prevent excess runoff.
• Look for signs of soil and other pollutants, such as debris
and chemicals leaving construction sites or tracked onto roadways
by construction vehicles. Please report poorly managed construction
sites to the Township Manager at 412-322-1551.
• Install innovative storm water practices on residential
property such as rain barrels or rain gardens that capture storm
water and keep it on site instead of letting it drain away into
the storm sewer system.
• Report any discharges from storm water outfalls during dry
weather, a sign that there could be a problem with the storm sewer
• Pick up after pets and dispose of their waste properly.
• Store materials that could pollute storm water indoors and
use containers for outdoor storage that do not rust or leak to eliminate
exposure of materials to storm water.
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