Stormwater and Wastewater
Storm water describes rainfall, snowmelt, and other weather-related water which collects and runs off of hard surfaces like rooftops, parking lots and even sod. Storm water is one of the most significant threats to water quality across the nation, simply because it's easily polluted with litter, debris, sediment and many different types of synthetic chemicals as it runs over hard urban surfaces. Polluted storm water collects into the storm drain systems of our local communities, where underground pipes carry this runoff to our lake and river. Storm water is not filtered before entering our waterways, so any harmful substances and materials it picks up along its journey end up in our water, oftentimes in high-use areas like the Sand Creek corridor. LPOW proactively addresses storm water issues related to urban growth by monitoring shoreline development projects and reviewing NPDES Construction General Permits. LPOW also works to raise community awareness about how storm water can impact water quality through the “Dump No Waste – Drains to Lake” Storm Drain Labeling Program.
New! In spring 2016, LPOW hopes to spearhead an exciting new Storm Water Monitoring Program for the Cities of Sandpoint and Ponderay. Like our long-term Water Quality Monitoring Program, the SWMP will be driven by citizen science and community funding. To learn more and get involved, visit our SWMP page.
Like storm water, ineffectively treated waste water can be a dangerous source of pollution. This is due to the presence of potential human pathogens, as well as high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous which can promote the growth of algae and aquatic invasive weeds. LPOW is the only organization in the region that monitors National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits of waste water treatment facilities that discharge effluent into our local waterways in order to ensure compliance.
What you can do
Polluted storm water is a big problem nationwide. Fortunately, each of us can easily help make our storm water cleaner by following a few simple tips:
Support these efforts!
Our efforts to track storm water and waste water pollution, like the upcoming Storm Water Monitoring Program, are supported by generous community funding and citizen science. Get involved today to help LPOW protect our local waterways from these threats!
EPA - Stormwater Impacts
A collection of fact sheets on stormwater impacts to waterways and BMPs for keeping our stormwater as clean as possible.