WHAT IS A STORM DRAIN?
• Drains in the ground that conduct
water that collects during and after
rain and snow storms on streets and
sidewalks to other locations to
reduce puddling and flooding.
• In Berea, our storm drains are
directed into the East Branch of
the Rocky River and eventually flow
into Lake Erie.
STORM DRAIN POLLUTION
• Our biggest water quality problems don’t
come from a discharge pipe. They come
from stormwater washing off the land—
roads and rooftops, lawns and construction
sites, parking lots and driveways.
• The problems include the flooding volumes
of water that flow off the hard,
impervious surfaces of our urban and
suburban landscapes, as well as all the
pollutants that are washed off these
WHAT SHOULD GO DOWN A
Stormwater, of course!
VARIOUS STYLES OF STORM DRAINS
STORM DRAIN MARKINGS
NON-POINT SOURCE POLLUTION
• Pollution that cannot be tied to a
single, identifiable source.
• Common non-point sources:
– land disposal
– saltwater intrusion
– city streets
POLLUTANTS GOING TO WATERWAYS
• These pollutants include:
– Fertilizers (agricultural & residential)
– Herbicides (agricultural & residential)
– Insecticides (agricultural & residential)
– Toxic chemicals from urban runoff
– Litter including cigarette butts &
• A sewer which carries sewage (liquid
or waterborne waste from plumbing
fixtures) and to which storm and
surface water, street runoff, and
groundwater are not admitted
• A sewer that transports only
wastewaters (from domestic
residences and/or industries) to a
wastewater treatment plant.
WHAT SHOULD GO DOWN A
• Human waste
• Laundry water
• Reasonable garbage disposal
• Bath water
WHAT SHOULD NOT GO DOWN
A SANITARY SEWER?
• Solvents such as paint thinner and
turpentine (toxic chemicals)
• Paints, urethanes & varnishes
• Feminine hygiene products
COMBINED STORM DRAINS &
SANITARY SEWERS –
COMBINED SEWER OVERFLOWS
Storm drain on top of sanitary sewer.
Notice there is no top to the
. Older systems have combined
1. During heavy rains sewage will “overflow”
into storm drain pipe (and vice-versa) and/or
2. The storm drain may clog (see photo below)
backing up the storm water therefore causing
overflow between sewage and storm water.
The storm drain (now storm water & sewage)
flow to the nearest surface water body (river,
creek, lake, ocean) and contaminate the water.
Common contaminant is Fecal coliform bacteria.
LINKS FOR STORM DRAINS,
SANITARY SEWERS & CSO’s
• Combined Sewer Overflows
• Map of CSO’s
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT
• Learn about the topic.
• Don’t pollute!
• Educate others about storm
drains, sanitary sewers and
• Volunteer for river clean-
ups. (May 16th 2009)
• Be a BHS Stenciler!