Stormwater runoff is rain that falls on streets, parking areas, sports fields, gravel lots, rooftops or other developed land and flows directly into nearby creeks and rivers.

Rain picks up and mixes with what’s on the ground: Oil, grease, metals and coolants from vehicles; Fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals from gardens and homes; Bacteria from pet wastes and failing septic systems; Soil from construction sites and other bare ground; Soaps from car or equipment washing; and accidental spills, leaky storage containers, tobacco spit, cigarette butts and whatever else dots the landscapes.

What and Why?

The most effective way to reduce stormwater pollution is to stop it getting in there in the first place! The water that runs off the roads, your roof, footpath, and driveway are the beginning of the stormwater system. The polluted runoff rushes into nearby gutters and storm drains where it flows through a system of underground pipes and channels. From there, the untreated water empties into your local streams, rivers, and lakes on its path towards the oceans.

Local Issues and Municipal Mandates

Here are some common pollutants found in stormwater runoff:

Litter- such as cigarette butts, cans, bottles, paper or plastic bags

Sediment- usually from soil erosion

Nutrient load- originating from animal waste, fertilizers, agricultural runoff, and natural decomposition

Bacteria- often from pet waste, septic systems & agricultural runoff

Chemicals- such as oil, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and heavy metals

Stormwater Educational Resources, Publications, and Programs

For additional information on water quality educational programs.

 Click Here for a variety of resources. 

For more information on municipal programs, click on the links below:

City of Roanoke:

Roanoke County:

Town of Vinton:

City of Salem: