What is urban stormwater?
Urban stormwater is the runoff from rain or snowmelt that isn’t absorbed by the natural ground cover and instead runs off an urban property directly into a water body or into storm drains. Most storm sewers are directly connected to rivers and lakes – and all of that untreated water ends up in our water bodies. Urban areas have an increased amount of runoff due to the amount of impervious surfaces (like roads, parking lots, streets, and other forms of pavement).
Why is it a problem?
When water runs off an urban property and washes into the street along the way it picks up a myriad of pollutants. These pollutants may be trash, motor oil, toxic chemicals, and dog feces, as well as grass clippings and leaves, which add phosphorus to the water. It then flows into the nearest storm drain and is dumped into a lake or river. This can impair water quality and cause excessive algae growth in the summer months.
Addressing Urban Stormwater in the Cannon River Watershed:
Many of the streams, rivers and lakes in the Cannon River Watershed are not meeting state standards for aquatic recreation (human use) and aquatic life (wildlife use) because of these types of pollution. This pollution also adds to the problems in Lake Pepin, the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.
We want to educate urban residents in our watershed about runoff and engage them to take action help be the solution to stormwater pollution with the goal of reducing these pollutants and having cleaner water.
Explore the links below to see how you can help prevent stormwater runoff and and what is going on in your area.
Become a Master Water Steward! October of 2017, CRWP again offering this unique and informative course to residents in the Cannon River Watershed. Cost may be about $200 per person refundable upon completion of the courses and capstone in year one. To maintain certification, Stewards must volunteer in their community 50 hours the first year and 25 each subsequent. An application, interview and attendance at one of our two Information Sessions is required for interested participants and space is limited. If you know you are interested now, you can e-mail Kristi@crwp.net and she will keep you in the loop as the next cohort of Stewards develops in our watershed!
Rain Barrels (CRWP no longer sells these or offers build-your-own workshops)
Storm Drain Stenciling with the message “Do Not Dump – Drains to River/Lake” raises the awareness about the area watershed to both the volunteers who participate in the stenciling activity and to those that notice the wording throughout the year. To participate as an individual or with a group, contact Kristi@crwp.net.