Stormwater is the discharge of water due to runoff from precipitation. Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over impervious surfaces. Impervious surfaces are areas that impede the infiltration of water into the soil. Concrete, asphalt, rooftops and even severely compacted areas of soil are considered impervious. Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants. These substances are then carried directly to a waterway or into a storm drain/inlet, which is connected to a series of underground pipes that lead to waterways (streams or rivers).
Stormwater systems are not designed to capture debris or treat the water like a sanitary sewer system that leads to a wastewater treatment plant. Because of this, stormwater with unfiltered pollutants can destroy aquatic habitat, lessen aesthetic value and have further environmental impact by contaminating water supplies and recreational waterways.
The New Albany Public Service Department works closely with environmental agencies to implement policies and strategies to properly deal with illicit discharge detection and elimination, concrete washout, post-construction, smart growth, low impact development, green roofs, municipal operations, and many other stormwater issues.