Defining Stormwater Runoff
Though often overlooked as a major contributor of pollution, stormwater runoff continues to adversely affect the environment. Stormwater runoff is a naturally occurring part of the earth’s hydrological cycle, which is best described as the distribution and movement of water between the atmosphere, land, and water. Any form of precipitation that reaches the earth’s surface is either absorbed into the soil or flows over land as runoff.
According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM)
, “Stormwater runoff is the volume of water generated by a rainfall event, snow melt, or other forms of precipitation that falls to the earth’s surface and does not infiltrate into the ground. Runoff can be directly correlated with specific land use. Runoff associated with a forested landscape will typically be less than runoff from an urbanized landscape.”
Effects on Local Watersheds
Due to increased levels of impervious surfaces through land development and urbanization, increased amounts of stormwater has changed the way in which water travels through watersheds. A watershed is simply any area of land that drains into another waterway, including rivers, lakes, or streams.
If you would like more information about the Stormwater Program, or are interested in volunteering to improve the community’s water quality, please contact Assistant City Planner Tim Dombrosky
at the Planning Department, (574) 372-9550.