WHAT IS STORMWATER?
Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snow melt flows over the ground. As stormwater flows it picks up oils, salt, litter, sediment, and other pollutants. Impervious areas prevent stormwater runoff from naturally soaking into the ground. These areas include:
- Parking lots
As stormwater flows it picks up oils, salt, litter, sediment, and other pollutants. This stormwater runoff can flow directly into the Town’s street storm drain collection system or travel overland before it empties into water bodies like the Duck River with little or no treatment to remove the pollutants that could be transporting. These are the same waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing public drinking water.
Why Be Concerned About Stormwater?
Stormwater runoff can have several impacts. As development and imperviousness increase in an area, the natural capacity of the soil and vegetation to infiltrate and take up rainfall decreases, and more rainfall becomes stormwater runoff. This can produce negative impacts such as erosion of land areas and stream banks, by causing or increasing flooding and by carrying pollutants to surface waters.
As Williamstown grows, development increases. When more houses, roads and businesses are constructed, water has nowhere to go and can cause serious drainage, pollutant, and sanitation problems. Continued development causes:
- Erosion and sedimentation
- Impact to stream banks
- Increased imperviousness
- Increased pollutants
- Increased runoff