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Henry County, GA

Contact henry County Government
347 Phillips Drive
McDonough, GA 30253
Tel: (770) 288-7246
Tel: (770) 288-RAIN
Fax: (770) 288-7257

Hours:
Mon - Fri: 7:30a - 4:30p

 




Effects of Stormwater Runoff

Henry County StormwaterWater is essential for life and it is our most precious resource. Both point and non-point sources contribute to the increase of water pollution and at least 50% of water pollution is generated from point and non-point sources.

In order to understand the importance of Stormwater Runoff and the importance of why it needs to be managed let us begin by reviewing some of the basic facts.

Point Source Pollution

Point source pollution is typically generated from pollutants entering a stream or lake or from one specific source. Point sources of pollution may include:

  • Discharge pipe from a municipal or industrial wastewater treatment plant
  • Overflows and bypasses from sewerage systems
  • Chemical spills from oil and gas operations
  • Animal confines and feeding operations
  • Un-permitted and illegal discharges into storm sewer

Non-Source Pollution

Non-source point pollution comes from a variety of diffuse sources. When rainfall comes into contact with parking lots, roadway, agricultural areas, lawns, etc. it picks up and carries pollutants, depositing them into streams, lakes and rivers. Non-point sources may include:

  • Excessive application of  fertilizer, herbicides, and insecticides
  • Construction site sediment
  • Erosion of stream banks
  • Animal waste
  • Oil and grease
  • Chemicals poured into storm drains
  • Toxic or hazardous substances stored outside and exposed to rain

Approximately 70% of the earth is covered with water, but only about 1% is available for human use. Water is continuously moving. It is heated by the sun, its vapor is carried by the wind, and it condenses into clouds and falls to the ground as rain, snow or other forms of precipitation.

When it returns to the ground much of the water travels as runoff into the oceans, rivers, lakes and streams or evaporates back into the atmosphere. A quantity of the water percolates into the soil forming groundwater and some of the water is intercepted by plant life where it transpires into the atmosphere.

The impacts of urbanization and stormwater runoff begins as rain and picks up pollutants from land surfaces as it makes its way to nearby streams and lakes. As it comes in contact with streets, parking lots and lawns, etc., it picks up trash debris and other pollutants. Runoff also collects sediments from construction sites, leaking fluids from vehicles and disease-causing bacteria from leaking septic systems or pet waste. These are just a few examples of pollutants generated in urban areas. The character of stormwater runoff changes as land is urbanized or developed for residential, commercial, industrial or other uses. Paved surfaces result in more runoff entering streams at a faster rate. This causes stream erosion and the destruction of aquatic life and its habitats.

To learn more about stormwater runoff and how you can reduce pollutants, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website.

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Last updated: Friday January 02 2009

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Henry County, Georgia - Board of Commissioners - County Government