1. Read the introduction aloud.
2. Complete all the questions below and click SUBMIT when you are finished.
3. Fill out the postcard and return it to your teacher.
Introduction - What is stormwater runoff and why is it a problem?
When rain falls or snow melts in Kirkland, where do you think the water goes? Does it soak into the ground? Does it sit in a puddle until it disappears? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you are partially correct. Some of the rainwater soaks into the ground and some of it evaporates into the air.
But what happens to the rest of the rainwater? This water is called runoff or, sometimes, stormwater runoff. It flows over hard surfaces (like roofs, parking lots, sidewalks, and roads) and into the nearest storm drain, stream, or ditch.
Storm drains are big grates in the road where the water “disappears.” These storm drains actually connect to pipes, which carry the water directly to your local stream or lake without being treated.
As water flows over hard surfaces, it can pick up pollution that we have left behind. Pollution is anything that harms natural resources. Sometimes the pollution is something you can see, like trash floating on top of the water. Other times you can’t see the pollution at all, like when motor oil dripping from a car washes into a nearby creek.
Optional: Take a look at the Stormville web page and learn more about runoff and water pollution in our neighborhoods. Find the pollution problems. Click on them to see how they affect water quality and how we can prevent these types of pollution.