Updated: February 4, 2021
By Amy E. Scaroni , Jennifer Dindinger , Amanda Rockler , Jacqueline Takacs , and Krisztian Varsa

Stormwater runoff originates during precipitation when water flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces such as streets and rooftops increase runoff by preventing water from soaking into the ground. Water running over impervious surfaces can pick up sediment, chemicals, debris, and toxins which are carried to local waterways. These pollutants prevent waterways from being fishable and swimmable.

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