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What is Stormwater/Wastewater Pollution?

Stormwater/wastewater pollution is urban runoff water that has picked up pollutants as it flows through the storm drain system-a network of channels, gutters and pipes that collect runoff from city streets, neighborhoods, farms, construction sites and parking lots-and empties directly into local waterways.

Unlike sewage, which goes to treatment plants, urban runoff flows untreated through the storm drain system. Anything thrown, swept or poured into the street, gutter or a catch basin (the curbside openings that lead into the storm drain system) can flow directly into our channels, creeks, bays and ocean. This includes pollutants like trash, pet waste, cigarette butts, motor oil, anti-freeze, runoff from pesticides and fertilizers, paint from brushes and containers rinsed in the gutter and toxic household chemicals.

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