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HOMEOWNER RESOURCESStormwater Pollution Prevention

What is Stormwater Pollution?

Stormwater is urban runoff water that has picked up pollutants as it flows through the storm drain system–a network of channels, gutters and pipes that collect runoff from City streets, neighborhoods, farms, construction sites and parking lots–and empties directly into local waterways. Unlike sewage, which goes to treatment plants to remove toxins, urban runoff flows untreated through the storm drain system and directly into our local water bodies. Anything thrown, swept or poured into the street, gutter or a catch basin–the curbside openings that lead into the storm drain system–can flow into our channels, rivers and eventually to the ocean. This includes a list of pollutants like trash, pet waste, cigarette butts, motor oil, anti-freeze, pesticides & fertilizers, and paint.

 Health Effects of Stormwater Pollution

  • Poses a serious health risk to people swimming or fishing in our water bodies, particularly within 400 yards of a storm drain outlet
  • Threatens our drinking water and polluted runoff empties into the Santa Ana River, contaminating our coastal waters

Environmental Effects of Stormwater Pollution

  • Endangers countless marine plants and animals living in the San Bernardino area, which can become sick or die from contact with stormwater pollution

Neighborhood Effects of Stormwater Pollution

  • Clogged catch basins significantly decrease the quality of life in many neighborhoods throughout the County
  • This buildup of trash and debris can attract rats and cockroaches, create foul odors, and clog the storm drain system – affecting neighborhood aesthetics and property values
  • It also creates the potential for local flooding during rain and snow events, as litter, leaves and other debris clog catch basins along streets and intersections

How to Prevent Stormwater Pollution

The beauty of pollution prevention is that everyone in San Bernardino County plays a part in keeping our area clean and safe. Simple steps in everyday life are all it takes to do your part!