What is urban stormwater?
Urban stormwater is the runoff from rain or snowmelt that isn’t absorbed by the natural ground cover. Instead, it 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 impairs water quality and causes 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, our water becomes less fishable, swimmable, and drinkable. 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. Take action and be the solution to stormwater pollution! Together we can reach the goal of reducing these pollutants and having cleaner water.
Explore the links below to see what is going on in your area!
Master Water Stewards
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. In order 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. Unfortunately, space is limited. If you know you are interested now, you can e-mail Kristi@crwp.net. She will keep you in the loop as the next cohort of Stewards develops in our watershed!