WHAT IS STORMWATER? It is just what is sounds like: water from a storm. Any precipitation that falls from the sky, including rain, hail, and snow, is considered stormwater.
In a natural landscape without development, stormwater is absorbed into the ground or falls into bodies of water. This gives needed water to plants and animals and replenishes reserves of surface and groundwater.
In contrast, in an urban landscape, stormwater falls onto impervious surfaces (surfaces that do not absorb water) such as roads, sidewalks, rooftops, or parking lots and is not soaked up by the ground. As a result, the falling water is swept across these surfaces as runoff.
(photo courtesy of Clemson Extension)
Poorly managed stormwater runoff can cause a host of problems including:
Flooding. As stormwater runs off roofs, driveways and lawns, large volumes quickly reach streams, causing them to rise quickly and flood, instead of a natural slow and steady water rise. When more impervious surfaces exist, flooding occurs more rapidly and can be more severe, resulting in damage to property and people.
Pollution. Stormwater running over roofs, driveways, roads and lawns will pick up pollutants such as oil, fertilizers, pesticides, dirt/sediment, trash, and animal waste. These pollutants "hitch a ride" with the stormwater and flow untreated into local lakes, rivers and streams, polluting our waters. Eventually, we usher some of that water into treatment plants to produce the water we use every day, and drink. It’s a cycle, and our stormwater systems are a critical part of making sure the water we return to the environment is not polluted.
Bank Erosion. When stormwater flows into rivers and streams at unnaturally high volumes and speeds, the power of these flows can cause severe erosion. Eroding banks can eat away at neighboring property, create dangerous situations, and damage natural habitat for fish and other aquatic life. This erosion is another source of sediment pollution in waterways.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT is the use of specific practices, constructed or natural, to reduce, temporarily detain, slow down and/or remove pollutants from stormwater runoff. Stormwater management practices are essentially designed to restore or mimic some of the natural processes provided by the vegetative cover that existed prior to land disturbance. In many regions of the country, this native vegetative cover includes trees and shrubs.
The STORMWATER ORDINANCE for the Town of Randolph helpts to protect the health, safety, general welfare and environment in the management, operation and maintenance of the Town's stormwater system. Land disturbances meeting the following categories require review and authorization by the Randolph Stormwater Authority:
|PROJECT DETAILS||REVIEW TYPE|
|Land disturbance 5,000 sq ft to 21,780 sq ft (1/2 acre)||Administrative|
Land disturbance greater than 21,780 sq ft
|Projects where proposed use has higher potential pollutant loads||Permit|
Application for Land Disturbance/Stormwater Permit can be downloaded HERE
RESIDENTS - You can prevent stormwater pollution around your home. Learn more HERE
COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES - Learn about managing stormwater and pollutants on your property HERE