Wastewater is water from indoor taps and toilets. It goes down the drains inside your house to the treatment plant, where it is cleaned up before going back to the river. Stormwater, or runoff, is water that goes from your property down the street. This stormwater eventually travels into our creeks and rivers.
When it rains, it pours. Straight into the river.
Every time it rains or snow melts, streets, driveways, parking lots and your lawn get a bath. Dirt, oil, gasoline, gravel, salt, garbage, animal droppings and chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides are washed away into the storm sewers. The last stop for stormwater is through outfalls - the big drains you see you along the riverbanks - and into our waterways that aquatic wildlife calls home.
From your home to theirs: innocent bystanders
Our rivers provide an important habitat for fish and other aquatic life. Our rivers are also our source for clean drinking water. They are a precious natural resource. Our everyday activities can have a big impact on natural habitats. Pollution from stormwater can hurt or kill fish, birds, frogs, insects and the plants they need for food and shelter. Pollution culprits include:
- Soap from washing car in the driveway.
- Pesticides and fertilizers.
- Dirt like silt and gravel.
- Automotive chemicals like motor oil, gasoline and antifreeze.
- Sidewalk salt.
- Pet waste.
Following The City of Calgary's Drainage Bylaw helps protect our rivers!
What we do to manage and control the substances and materials that enter our drainage system does make a difference and will have a positive impact on the quality and quantity of stormwater entering our rivers.