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What Are Stormwater & Runoff?

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stormwater runoff picture

Any water that is not absorbed by the soil can be classified as stormwater or runoff. Stormwater and runoff can be the result of rain and snowmelt or human activity and should not be confused with sanitary sewage, which results from water passing through plumbing drains in homes and businesses.

Stormwater results from rain or snow. Runoff includes stormwater that passes over impervious surfaces, such as street and parking lot pavement or roofs and over bare earth, such as might be found at a construction site. Runoff also results from water released from swimming pools, hot tubs and spas, car washes, sump pumps and other sources in and around homes and businesses.

The important thing to remember is that stormwater and runoff can contain or pick up debris, such as leaves and trash, and pollutants, including chemicals, trash and sediment. Because stormwater and runoff can affect water quality, they are considered pollution point sources and have to be covered by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit held by the City of Leawood.

For more information about stormwater, runoff and water quality, visit KCARE/Kansas State University and look for:

Storm Drains, Where Do They Go?
Water Quality and You
What's in Your Water?

To learn more about protecting our streams and keeping storm drains functioning properly visit: marc.org