Can Your Water Become Polluted After A Big Storm?

A sewer system and a storm drain are not the same. These are two different systems and work entirely different with different consequences from a major storm. The water that goes down a sink or toilet flows to a wastewater treatment plant where it is treated and filtered. Water that flows down driveways and streets into a gutter goes into a storm drain that flows directly to a lake, river or the ocean. This water may pick up pollutants along the way if it is not treated.

Rain takes oil and grit left by cars; sprinklers wash pesticides, fertilizer and weed killers from our gardens and lawn; detergents, oils and grease from washing the car all make runoff dirty.

The effects of pollutants on our water can be harmful. This polluted runoff can have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreational use, and wildlife. Beaches, lakes, and creeks have been closed because of contamination storm water. It is very important to keep runoff clean.

There are ways to prevent storm water pollution:

1. Do not pour cooking oils down the sink. Dispose of them in the garbage. Fats, oils, and grease poured down the sink can damage local sewers. In coastal cities, there is a greater chance that they could end up in the ocean.

2. The detergents we use to wash our cars and clean clothes contain phosphate which is a nutrient that encourages algal growth in both fresh and sea water. You should not wash your car on driveways or streets. Wash them on the lawn or in graveled areas and use very little soap. When you are finished, empty the soapy water down the sink.

To learn more about responsible water usage or to have your own water tested, contact Crystal Clear Water Treatment to schedule an appointment. Learn more about our company at

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