We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Stormwater Runoff?

By T. L. Childree
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Stormwater runoff is generally regarded as excess rain and snow melt that moves across the surface of the ground rather than being absorbed into the soil. This excess water typically ends up in a nearby lake, stream, or river. Flooding and pollution are the two primary reasons for controlling stormwater runoff. Sediment from stormwater flooding can disrupt the habitat of many aquatic species while polluted runoff may have undesirable effects on humans, animals, fish, and plants. The negative effects of stormwater runoff can be mitigated through the installation of drainage systems and retention ponds as well as the passage of laws governing the outdoor use and disposal of hazardous materials.

Impervious man-made surfaces such as pavement, buildings, and roofs prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground. During a rain storm, water runs off of these surfaces and makes its way downhill to the nearest stream, river, or lake. As the stormwater moves along the ground, it erodes the soil and carries sediment to nearby bodies of water. Along the way, this runoff also gathers pollutants such as chemicals, bacteria, and pathogens and deposits them into storm drains, rivers, and streams. The mixture of sediment and pollutants contained in stormwater runoff can have adverse effects on the natural environment.

Sediment from stormwater runoff typically clouds the water in streams and lakes making it very difficult for aquatic vegetation to thrive and grow. Runoff from lawns and gardens often contains elements of commercial fertilizers and pesticides that can poison marine life. Humans and animals can sometimes become ill from eating these contaminated fish. Large volumes of stormwater runoff can often fill sanitary sewer pipes and cause untreated sewage to overflow into nearby lakes and rivers. People swimming in these contaminated bodies of water can then become ill from bacteria contained in the sewage-laden runoff.

A number of different measures can be taken to control the negative effects of stormwater runoff. Well-designed drainage systems are usually able to collect stormwater runoff before it has an opportunity to become polluted or cause flooding. Detention ponds can be constructed near large parking lots to quickly contain runoff during rain showers and allow it to be absorbed into the soil of the ponds. Environmentally friendly pesticides and fertilizers are also available for private and commercial use. Laws governing the disposal of hazardous and toxic materials have been enacted in many localities to help control pollution caused by runoff.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.