How Can Water Get Contaminated?

How Can Contaminants Get Into Our Water?

When land is paved, water is not able to soak into the ground. Water that flows over the hardened landscape is directed into the storm drain systems that lead directly into rivers and oceans.

This untreated water is called urban runoff. Urban runoff, carrying pollutants such as automotive fluids, trash and pesticides, is the biggest source of pollution in our rivers and ocean.

Trash, bacteria from pet waste and aging septic tanks, fecal bacteria, litter, pesticides and herbicides, dust from brake pads on cars, and many other pollutants impact our local streams, rivers, beaches, and groundwater aquifers.

Stormwater pollution can be prevented by correctly disposing chemical and material waste or by using green infrastructure practices that treat and clean our waters.

How do contaminants get into our water?