Stormwater runoff is generated when heavy rain and snow melt flows over land, pavement, and building rooftops, and does not percolate into the ground.

stormwater runnoff at DCR ponkapoag golf course

As the runoff flows over these impervious surfaces, the water accumulates chemicals, debris, dog waste, and other pollutants, and then flows into a network of underground storm drains.

In most cases, Sharon’s storm drains lead to the nearest stream, pond, or wetland where the polluted runoff gets discharged with little or no treatment.

Click here for stormwater runoff illustration.

Polluted runoff can make our waterways unsightly; create an unhealthy situation for swimming, fishing, boating and wildlife; and can impact drinking water resources.

You Can Help to Prevent Polluted Stormwater

1. Pick up after your dog.

Unlike other sources that add to water pollution, such as household chemicals and lawn fertilizer, dog waste carries high levels of harmful E. coli bacteria and other pathogens* that can pollute our water and make us sick.

Please do the right thing for your health and the health of our water ways, by carrying a plastic bag while walking your dog, and throwing the waste into a trash can.

rain-barrel med22. Redirect downspouts away from pavement.

Let the rainwater from your roof soak into your lawn, shrubs, rain garden, or rain barrel—rather than down your driveway and into a storm drain.

A one-inch rainfall on a 1,000 square foot roof yields approximately 600 gallons of water.

3. Prevent yard waste from being washed into storm drains.

Don’t pile grass clippings, leaves, or other yard waste in streams, wetlands, or near storm drains, as they may contain fertilizer or pesticides which can wash into waterways.

Consider starting a compost pile in your yard to recycle yard waste.

4. Reduce the use of lawn chemicals, and use organic products whenever possible.

Excessive amounts of phosphorus, a component of lawn fertilizer, creates weed and algae growth, causing significant water quality problems.

5. Properly dispose of hazardous household chemicals.

Never pour chemicals down a sink drain or toilet, on the ground, or down a storm drain.

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