What is stormwater runoff and why is it a problem? Stormwater runoff occurs when water from rain or snowmelt does not percolate into the ground. Stormwater is excess water from storms that is not absorbed and, instead, ends up in our rivers and streams.

As the runoff flows over the land or impervious surfaces (paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops), it picks up debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants along the way. That can adversely affect water quality and the water we drink or use for swimming and fishing since stormwater is NOT TREATED before it flows into our streams, rivers or wetlands.

Oftentimes, minor practical changes to our daily habits can help keep pollutants out of our stormwater and local waterways, such as Moon Brook. These are called best management practices (BMPs). 

Stormwater Causes and Solutions

Stormwater pollution can be caused by a variety of everyday household and business activities. It can be caused by activities including washing cars on paved surfaces, using too many chemicals on our lawns, even improperly disposing pet waste.

We’ve gathered everything you need to know about the causes of the most common stormwater pollution problems and what steps you can take to prevent you from becoming a stormwater polluter! Smart WaterWays, the Chittenden County stormwater web site, has a web page to explain how what we do at home can affect our water. Go to How

Communities Can Work Together to Improve Water Quality  to learn more.

If you’d like to join with your neighbors in undertaking hands-on projects such as installing a rain garden or helping cleanup local streams, visit our partners at the Rutland Natural Resources Conservation District “Rutland County Stream Team”.


Rain Gardens hold water and beautify.

Click HERE to learn more about Rain Gardens, courtesy of Smart WaterWays.

Here are some things you can do right at home courtesy of Smart WaterWays, Chittenden County’s Stormwater Website:

  • Lawn Care
  • Residential Runoff
  • Auto Maintenance

Want to learn more and share? Check out our Educational Resources and Glossary


Related Topics