What is stormwater?
Stormwater is precipitation that accumulates, in natural/constructed storage and stormwater systems, during and immediately following a storm event.
According to the EPA,
"Stormwater is rainwater or melted snow that runs off streets, lawns and other sites. When stormwater is absorbed into soil, it is filtered and ultimately replenishes aquifers or flows into streams and rivers."
Why is it Important?
According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, "When rain falls on lawns, forests and fields, the water not absorbed by plants filters through the soil before reaching and replenishing Florida’s groundwater supply. Ninety percent of the state’s drinking water is supplied by groundwater."
How You Can Help
You can make a difference to the future of Florida's water systems. We can all contribute to a safer water supply and healthy future for all generations to come. Here are some things you can do to help improve natural water resources:
- Use phosphate free soaps when washing your vehicles, boats and homes. Use environmentally safe cleaning products on your animals.
- Do not let paint, thinners, or other chemicals flow into the street.
- Remember to blow leaves, soils, and other yard debris back into your yard, not onto the walkways or streets.
- Control soil erosion on your property by planting ground cover and stabilizing erosion-prone areas.
- Dispose of garbage in proper bags/receptacles.
How Businesses Can Help
- Building Contractors should keep excess silts and soils from roadways, and keep chemicals from reaching the streets. We can recycle as much construction debris as possible.
- Restaurants should remember to clean grease traps regularly, recycle cans, and other containers, and use environmentally friendly cleaning solutions.
- Lawn Services should always blow grass clippings back onto the property instead of the sidewalk or streets.
Federal Regulations define an illicit discharge as “…any discharge to a stormwater system that is not composed entirely of storm water…” with some exceptions. These exceptions include discharges from NPDES-permitted industrial sources and discharges from fire-fighting activities. Illicit discharges are considered “illicit” because MS4s are not designed to accept, process, or discharge such non-storm water wastes. You can report an illicit discharge charge by contacting the Department of Public Works at 352-540-3060.
Examples of Illicit Discharge Sources
- Sanitary wastewater
- Effluent from septic tanks
- Car wash wastewater
- Improper oil disposal
- Radiator flushing disposal
- Laundry wastewater
- Spills from roadway accidents
- Improper disposal of auto and household toxics
Stormwater Drain Marking
The City’s Public Works Department recently engaged in a Storm Drain Marking Campaign. The has put forth an effort to educate people regarding the hazards associated with pollutants such as oil, dirt, chemicals and lawn fertilizers that may flow directly into our storm drains, and ultimately, our drinking water via Peck Sink.
If you have any questions or comments please contact the Public Works Department at (352) 540-3860