Why should I be concerned about polluted streams?

It is against the law to discharge pollutants into (1) the storm drainage system (2) surface water and (3) groundwater. 


Streams serve as a natural habitat and a source of food to many animals, fish, and aquatic life. Pollution will kill a stream and everything that uses it for survival. A stream filled with these items will suffer:

  • Choking with sediment from unchecked erosion
  • Debris from construction sites
  • Dumping of tires
  • Herbicides
  • Illegal dumping of paint
  • Overuse of pesticides
  • Scrap metal

These items contaminate water, causing death or illness to aquatic life, and fish by interrupting their reproductive cycle. The stream or waterway begins to fill up. The riparian corridor is destroyed. When that happens, the stream dies. 

Drinking Water Supplies

Pollutants also contaminate drinking water supplies. Antifreeze, detergents, and oils actually change the chemical makeup of water causing destruction not only to fish but also to the surrounding habitat for plants and animals. The economic loss is immeasurable.

Show All Answers

1. Why should I be concerned about polluted streams?
2. How can I support clean water efforts?
3. How can I protect my watershed?
4. What can I do at home to reduce stormwater pollution?
5. What is the difference between ground water and stormwater runoff?
6. How is water from a sanitary sewer system different from stormwater runoff or from a storm drain?
7. Who can I contact for information?
8. Who should I call to report a source of pollution or drainage problem?
9. Is there a list of recycling centers in Jefferson County?
10. How does stormwater runoff become polluted?
11. Is stormwater runoff treated at a waste water facility?
12. What is an Illicit Discharge?