Preventing storm water pollution now will benefit future drinking waterby Pima County News on Jun. 28, 2013, under Environmental Quality, Health, Pima County, Southern Arizona, Tucson, Water
The monsoon is coming and there are many actions you can take to keep the water clean for future generations. Rain water travels quickly along surfaces, such as streets and yards, picking up pollutants as it flows to storm drains and into river beds. When the water slows down, it infiltrates into the ground and eventually reaches our aquifer. By fixing leaking vehicles; using pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers minimally and well before it rains; and cleaning up after our animals we can reduce the amount of pollution in the storm water.
Each year during the monsoon, storm water carries pollutants such as oil, grease, pesticides, debris, and pet waste to our washes. There it begins the process of filtering down to the water that is deep within the soil below us. Over time, some of the pollutants may reach the aquifer where wells pump water up to the surface for drinking and agricultural needs.
To reduce storm water pollution:
- Watch for areas in your carport or driveway where automotive fluids have leaked out and repair the vehicle quickly to eliminate drips;
- Store chemicals properly and minimize the use of pesticides and lawn chemicals to reduce runoff;
- Carry plastic bags with you when you take your dog on outings to pick up after them. This will eliminate the spread of disease from bacteria and viruses often found in pet feces.
Pima County Department of Environmental Quality manages the storm water permit for Pima County that allows the county to discharge storm water from their storm sewer system to washes. The County’s storm water system includes 2,087 miles of roadways, 39 miles of storm drains, and infrastructure collecting runoff into stream channels. For more information to keep our storm water clean, visit www.deq.pima.gov/water/stwmgmprog.html.