Government raises stormwater runoff awareness

Spring is finally here, and with it come warmer days and stormy weather.

In an effort to bring light to the issues of stormwater, the federal government has adopted April as Stormwater Awareness Month.

Stormwater runoff is one of the largest contributors of water quality contamination within the United States. One of those contributors is when land is converted from its natural state into parking lots, buildings, streets and sidewalks, rainwater that once soaked into the ground flows over the impervious surfaces and becomes stormwater runoff.

Dumping anything but rainwater, such as leaves, grass clippings or branches, into ditches, swales, catch basins or stormwater ponds prohibits the flow of stormwater.

This will not only potentially contaminate the water but will block and reduce the flow of stormwater through the conveyance system to the river. Blockages in the ditches and stormwater drains are in part due to the actions of people who either don’t realize or don’t care, said Randy Hamilton, utility director of Seymour’s Water Pollution Control Facility.

City employees work continuously at trying to keep the stormwater flowing to help prevent stormwater backups, such as street flooding, ponding and keeping stormwater out of homes.

“Everyone can do their part in our community by helping to keep our ditch lines clean and your culvert pipes clear of debris,” Hamilton said. “The faster stormwater can be removed from our street and properties, the less inconvenience and property damage. Please remember, ‘Only rain in the drain.'”