What is storm water runoff?
Storm water runoff is water from rain or melting snow that “runs off” across the land instead of seeping into the ground. This runoff usually flows into the nearest stream, creek, river, lake or ocean. The runoff is not treated in any way.
Why is Storm water Runoff Bad?
Polluted storm water runoff is the number one cause of water pollution in North Carolina. In most cases in North Carolina today, storm water either does not receive any treatment before it enters our waterways or is inadequately treated.
Polluted water creates numerous costs to the public and to wildlife. As the saying goes, “we all live downstream.” Communities that use surface water for their drinking supply must pay much more to clean up polluted water than clean water.
Polluted water hurts the wildlife in creeks, streams, rivers and lakes. Dirt from erosion, also called sediment, covers up fish habitats and fertilizers can cause too much algae to grow, which also hurts wildlife by using up the oxygen they need to survive. Soaps hurt fish gills and fish skin, and other chemicals damage plants and animals when they enter the water.
New Jersey Regulation Program
The Municipal Storm water Regulation Program was developed in response to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Phase II rules published in December 1999. The Department issued final storm water rules on February 2, 2004 and four (4) NJPDES general permits authorizing storm water discharges from Tier A and Tier B municipalities, as well as public complexes, and highway agencies that discharge storm water from municipal separate storm sewers (MS4s). Public complexes include certain large public colleges, prisons, hospital complexes and military bases. Highway Agencies include county, state, interstate, or federal government agencies that operate highways and other thoroughfares.