Storm water pollution prevention is not only good public policy, it is also the law. Local, state, and federal law requires the City to enforce storm water regulations and educate stakeholders on proper discharge of storm water to our storm drains and receiving waters.
Unlike sewage, which goes to treatment plants to remove toxins, urban runoff flows untreated through the storm drain system and directly into our local streams and rivers. Anything thrown, swept, washed, or poured into the street, gutter or a catch basin–the curbside openings that lead into the storm drain system–can flow into our rivers and eventually to the ocean.
Even everyday items like these can be serious pollutants:
Trash Pet Waste
Cigarette Butts Motor Oil
Used Batteries Burnt Out Light Bulbs
Pesticides and Fertilizers
These pollutants create a threat to health. They can:
- Pose a serious risk to people swimming or fishing in our water bodies.
- Threaten our drinking water.
- Polluted runoff empties into the Santa Ana River, contaminating our coastal waters.
They can affect the environment by:
- Endangering countless marine plants and animals living in the San Bernardino area.
- Limiting the number of recreational areas suitable for use.
They can affect our neighborhoods by:
- Create breeding grounds for insects, including mosquitoes that can carry infectious diseases.
- Attracting rats and other vermin, creating foul odors, affecting neighborhood aesthetics and property values.
- Creating the potential for local flooding during rain events, as litter, leaves and other debris clog catch basins along streets and intersections.
Storm water pollutants can affect us all. When the quality of the environment around us deteriorates, our life styles, our recreational opportunities and our health feel the effects.