What is stormwater and what is stormwater management?
Stormwater is excess rain that does not soak into the ground or that is absorbed by trees and plants. Instead it "runs off" into storm drain pipes and flows, untreated, into streams. Most of Rockville’s stormwater is a result of impervious surfaces, such as buildings, paved roads and parking lots, compacted soil or gravel, or any other surface that prevents rainfall from penetrating the ground.
When impervious surfaces prevent or inhibit the flow of water into the earth, more water is left on the surface, which results in more stormwater. Excess stormwater is one of the biggest threats to the three Rockville watersheds, Watts Branch, Rock Creek and Cabin John. As the water runs over land, it picks up pollutants like oil, fertilizer, pesticides, pet waste and sediment. These pollutants impact a stream"s water quality. As the stormwater increases in volume and speed, it causes stream bank erosion and dumps more sediment into the stream, which harms aquatic insects, fish and animals that depend on the stream for their food and habitat.
View an illustration of the difference between sanitary sewer and storm drains.
Read about changes to Rockville's stormwater ordinance.
How can residents manage stormwater on their property?
5 Benefits to Managing Stormwater
- Protect our environment
- Reduce flooding and protect personal property
- Reduce demand on public stormwater infrastructure
- Support healthy streams and rivers
- Create happier, healthier communities
What are the benefits of managing stormwater?
There are numerous benefits to managing our stormwater on residential properties throughout Rockville. By managing rain water on residential properties before it enters the stormwater system, Rockville residents will be preventing many pollutants from entering the greater Potomac watershed and the Chesapeake Bay.
There are a number of ways to manage stormwater at both the community and residential level. Community stormwater is managed by using stormwater facility techniques, such as neighborhood ponds. Residential stormwater can be effectively managed on you property in cost effective ways, such as adding rainbarrels/cisterns, rain gardens, permeable pavers, green roofs and by reducing the size of your lawn.
Visit the links below to find out more information about on-site stormwater management: