Nothing should ever be put into the storm drains. These are for rainwater runoff only and empty directly into our lakes, streams and reservoir. We periodically clean and maintain them to keep them clear of debris. If you notice anyone illegally dumping into the storm drains, please call the Police Department immediately. For more information on how to prevent stormwater pollution, visit Clean Water NJ and the NJ DEP Stormwater.
What is Stormwater?
After the Storm - A Citizens Guide to Understanding Stormwater
Stormwater is water from rain and melting snow that flows over lawns, parking lots and streets becoming runoff. This water works its way back into our local waterways and eventually will end up in the Atlantic Ocean. Along with the water, anything such as litter, oil and/or fertilizer will also end up in our waterways.
Jersey Fresh Yards, Landscaping for a Healthy Environment - information on how to reduce runoff and pollution from your landscape. There is an interactive yard to teach you the concepts.
What is Watershed?
A watershed is the area of land that drains into a body of water such as our local streams, rivers and lakes. It is separated from other systems by high points in the area such as hills or slopes. It includes not only the waterway but also the land area that drains into it.
Complications from our actions can affect our watersheds. Changing the way stormwater flows, littering, oil or other vehicles fluids from parking lots, using too much fertilizer or fertilizer containing phosphorus can criticially affect a watershed. It is important to practice pollution prevention to help eliminate the damage being done to our watershed.
What is Ground Water?
It is very simple, if rainwater soaks into the ground, it is ground water. Ground water moved into water-filled layers of porous geologic formations called aquifers. Aquifers are not flowing underground streams or lakes. Aquifers can range from a few feet below the surface to several hundred feet underground. A system of more than 100 aquifers is scattered throughout New Jersey covering 7,500 square miles.
Ground water is the primary drinking water source for half of New Jersey's population. Most of the water is obtained from individual domestic water or public water supplies which tap into aquifers.
Stormwater flows into the system through a storm drain. These are located along the curb line of roadways and parking lots. The grate that prevents larger objects from flowing into the storm drain is called a catch basin. Once water is in the drain it flows through pipes to local streams, rivers and lakes. In most areas of NJ, the stormwater goes directly to our local waterways without any treatment.
Much of the debris and other pollutants such as salt that have settled on the surface and in the stormwater sewer are picked up and carried to the local waterways during a rainstorm. This adds to the water quality problems and it is important to protect our stormwater system from this debris.
The following should NEVER be dumped down storm drains. Motor oil, pet waste, grass trimmings, leaves, hazardous chemicals or any other type of debris. Storm drains are made for water only.
What is Non-point Source Pollution?
Non-point Source Pollution, or people pollution is a contamination of our ground water, waterways and ocean that results from everyday activities such as fertilizing the lawn, walking pets, changing motor oil and littering. With each rainfall, pollutants generated by these activities are washed into storm drains that flow into our waterways and ocean. They also can soak into the ground contaminating the ground water below.
Each of us, whether we know it or not, contributes to non-point source pollution through our daily activities. As a result, non-point source pollution is the BIGGEST threat to many of our ponds, creeks, lakes, wells, streams, rivers and bays, and our ground water and the ocean.
The collective impact of non-point source pollution threatens aquatic and marine life, recreational water activities, the fishing industry, tourism and our precious drinking water resources. Ultimately, the cost becomes the burden of every New Jersey resident.
But there is good news - in our everyday activities, we can stop non-point source pollution and keep our environment clean. Simple changes in YOUR daily lifestyle can make a tremendous difference in the quality of New Jersey's water resouces. Here are just a few ways you can reduce non-point source pollution.
- Never throw anything down storm drains.
- Don't litter.
- Obey Ringwood's "Pooper Scooper" law.
- Precycle. Buy products with the least amount of packaging available.
- Recycle. Call the Recycling Department for a list of required recyclables and further information.
- Conserve water. Don't let the water run when you are brushing your teeth, shorten the length of your showers and repair any leaking faucets.