What is Storm Water?
Storm water is water that falls as rain. Due to urbanization, rainwater runs off
paved surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, streets, parking lots, drains down
into storm drains or through open ditch systems, and empties into local rivers,
streams, lakes or ponds.
Why Is Storm Water Important?
Water that leaves homes, businesses, and industries through the sanitary sewer system is
treated and filtered before being released into water bodies. Water that enters the storm
water system is never treated or filtered before entering rivers, streams or lakes.
Thus, anything that is dumped down the storm drain, goes directly to your local water body.
Are Residents Responsible for Storm Water Quality?
Absolutely! Many activities done around the home can pollute storm water. Even simple
activities like washing and maintaining your car, disposing of household cleaning and
painting products, caring for your lawn, and having a pet can pollute storm water.
The good news is that there are things that you, as a resident, can do to keep Portage
County waterways clean! Use the links below to become a better water steward. Questions?
Contact the Portage SWCD.
Rain Garden Websites
Rain Garden Manual
Natural Lawn Care Websites
USDA Home &
Health Environmental Coalition
Other Useful Links
Make Your Home the
Solution to Storm Water Pollution