What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is the water from rain or melting snow that is not absorbed into the ground (due to oversaturation or impervious surfaces). In urban areas, stormwater goes into storm sewers which empty directly into bodies of water (Assiniboine River). Managing stormwater and drainage is key to preserving the health of urban streams and rivers.
What is Stormwater Pollution?
As stormwater flows to a storm drain or nearby body of water, it picks up items in its path. Oil from vehicles, litter from pedestrians, pesticides/fertilizers from area businesses, and bacteria from improperly disposed pet waste are gathered in the running water. This water is not cleaned at a treatment facility and not naturally filtered by the soil before making its way into rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water.
What can you do to manage stormwater?
- Don't dump motor oil, antifreeze, household chemiclas or paint down a storm drain. You can properly dispose these items at the Eco Center and Household Hazardous Waste Depot located at the Eastview Landfill (765 33rd street East)
- Wash your car at a commercial car wash to avoid soap suds entering the storm drain
- Install a rain barrels on your downspouts to collect stormwater to water your lawn and plants
- Build a rain garden
- increase filtration of your lawn by aerating it.
How to Build Your Own Rain barrel
One of the simplest ways to preserve water is the use of rain barrels. These can help minimize residential flooding during heavy rains while providing water for gardening and other tasks. Typically, one mm of rain on one square metre of roof area produces one litre of water to use in your containers, houseplants, garden, or even your lawn.
The benefits of rain barrels are clear:
- It’s FREE water that you can collect for your gardens and lawns
- Decreases the impact on our Assiniboine River
- Conserving water for future generations
- You can SAVE MONEY on your water bills!
Here is a useful guide to creating your own rain barrel (119 KB) for use at home!