The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) requires communities around the country to address storm water quality, and hence the pollution of our nation’s waterbodies. Carmel is one of nearly 200 of these required communities in the state of Indiana required to develop and maintain a storm water quality program. This program is extremely important to the sustainability of our community. In fact, the EPA now considers storm water pollution to be one of the most significant sources of contamination in our nation's waters.
Storm water and why it is a concern
Anytime it rains, water falls onto many different surfaces, and depending on the surface, it either enters the ground, or runs off to another location. For instance, if rain falls on grass, a portion soaks into the ground, but if it lands on a paved parking lot, it runs off the lot to another location. Within Carmel, much of the storm water runs off of driveways, parking lots, and streets, where it picks up oil, grease, sediments, and many other pollutants that are harmful to the environment.
What many people do not realize is this storm water that washes down our streets, flows into storm drains and then flows directly to our ponds, creeks, and rivers. When this storm water flow becomes polluted with eroded soils, automotive fluids, trash, and lawn chemicals, it affects our ability to use our water bodies for drinking and recreational purposes and it degrades fish and other aquatic habitats.
The only way to lessen this pollution is to reduce the amount of pollutants washed away by storm water.
What is Storm Water Pollution?
Any toxic discharge that enters into the storm water sewer system , as storm water flows (or snow melts), it picks up debris, chemicals - such as fertilizers and pesticides - dirt, cigarette butts and other pollutants . This discharge enters a storm sewer system and is discharged to a lake, stream, river, wetland, or coastal water.
Courtesy Erich Roeckner, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
City of Carmel Stormwater Program Information
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Director: Nancy Heck
Location: One Civic Square
Carmel, IN 46032
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