|The next time it rains, watch the water run off your roof, across your driveway, and down the street. Everywhere you go, water is on its way to the nearest stream, lake, river, or wetland. Some of the rain evaporates back into the air, some rain soaks into the ground, and some rain travels over the surface of the land.
Stormwater runoff is rain or snowmelt that falls on streets, parking areas, rooftops or other developed land and flows directly into nearby streams, rivers and Little Traverse Bay. Rain and water that is unable to soak into the ground picks up and mixes with what's on the ground:
The polluted stormwater runoff then rushes into nearby gutters and storm drains and into streams, lakes, rivers and the Bay. In most areas, stormwater runoff enters these waters without being cleaned of pollutants. These pollutants may harm or kill aquatic life, reduce the beauty of the natural resources, and impair waters to the point that they must be closed to fishing and swimming.
- Oil, grease, metals and coolants from vehicles;
- Fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals from residential, commercial, and agricultural landscapes;
- Bacteria from pet waste;
- Soil from construction sites and other bare ground;
- Soaps from car or equipment washing;
- Cigarette butts and other litter; and
- Accidental spills, leaky storage containers, and whatever else ends up on the ground.
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council's "Stormwater Matters" encourages local residents and visitors of the Little Traverse Bay Watershed to help prevent stormwater pollution and protect Little Traverse Bay. Here are a few things you can do to help keep polluted stormwater runoff from entering our beloved Little Traverse Bay.