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Stormwater Management FAQs

Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding Stormwater Management.

  • What is stormwater pollution?
  • How can I prevent stormwater pollution at home?
  • What's the big deal about stormwater in the District?
  • Where can I properly dispose of household hazardous wastes?

What is stormwater pollution?

Stormwater pollution comes directly from runoff during a storm event. This water can runoff of roof tops, driveways, parking lots, yards, and streets. During this event, water picks up many of the pollutants that are already on these surfaces, such as toxic metals, pesticides, fertilizers, vehicle oils, dirt particles, trash and leaves. The water, and all its pollutants, travels to the local storm sewer and into local rivers, streams, and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay.

How can I prevent stormwater pollution at home?

Reducing stormwater pollution at home is easy! You can place rain barrels on your property for collecting water for plants and gardens. You can build a beautiful rain garden that allows storm water to flow into the ground rather than into the storm drain. You can disconnect your gutter downspout to redirect it into your yard or garden, rather than into the street or driveway.

What's the big deal about stormwater in the District?

Under federal law, the District is required to control its storm water that enters the local watersheds (Potomac, Anacostia) and reduce the amounts of pollutants that the stormwater contains. District agencies (DOEE, DPW, DDOT, WASA) are actively involved in developing practices that reduce pollutants at the source, long before they enter critical water bodies.

Where can I properly dispose of household hazardous wastes?

Every year, there are weekly drop offs for your household hazardous wastes (paint, fertilizers, pesticides, mercury thermometers, automobile oil, unknowns, etc).For more information visit the DPW website for specific dates and times.

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