The City of St. Augustine is taking considerable steps to improve the quality of our surface waters by reducing the amount of pollution carried to our rivers due to stormwater runoff. Stormwater is water that originates from rain and enters the City’s stormwater system. Precipitation which is not absorbed into the ground due to an impervious surface, like concrete or asphalt, is considered stormwater runoff.
How the Stormwater System Works
The City’s stormwater system is designed to collect stormwater runoff in catch basins and storm drains and channel that water to our waterways using a network of underground pipes that make up our stormwater system. A variety of toxic pollutants are washed from the streets and parking lots into storm drains, creeks, rivers, and ultimately to the ocean. These pollutants include:
- Antifreeze and gasoline from motor vehicles
- Copper dust, which is released from motor vehicle brake pad linings
- Fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides
- Leaking oil
- Rubber tire dust
- Soaps and chemicals used to wash motor vehicles
- Waste motor oil from vehicles, lawn mowers, and small equipment
The City maintains an Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Program and has regulations in place that prohibit illicit discharges into any natural outlet or stormwater system within the City.
Stormwater pollution has a significant effect on surface waters and is a major problem in cities all over the state and nation.