What is stormwater?
Stormwater is rain and snowmelt that runs off surfaces such as rooftops, streets, parking lots, and other areas that prevent or slow infiltration of water into the ground.
Why is stormwater important?
Most surfaces in Moscow produce some amount of runoff and as water runs off these surfaces it can pick up pollution. The water might flow directly into a local stream, or it may enter one of the University of Idaho’s many storm drains, travelling through pipes until released untreated into local waterways such as Paradise Creek or Hog Creek. Most of the University’s stormwater eventually discharges to the South Fork Palouse River.
What can people do to help?
- Don’t dump anything down the stormdrains
Stormdrains are for stormwater only. The stormdrains are not for mop water, used motor oil, or even unwanted beverages. These fluids drain directly to the streams.
- Use a car wash instead of washing your car in the street
We all like our vehicles to be clean, but most car wash soap contributes to the phosphorus pollution we are seeing in our streams. Take your car to a local car wash that collects and cleans the wash water before discharging it.
- Pick up after pets
Pick up after dogs when walking them. Fecal matter contains harmful bacteria that contaminates streams. It also ruins other’s time and increases the resources needed to keep campus areas clean.
- Throw away trash
Litter makes its way into our rivers through the stormdrain system. Besides being unsightly, trash can harbor bacteria biofilms that encourages the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Fix your car Oil leaks wash into the river during the next storm. If you have a puddle underneath your parking spot, it’s time to take your car in for a repair. Your car and the fish will thank you.