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Water Pollution

Water pollution can be defined as when the use of water is deemed unsafe to be used.  Think of all the things that we do with water, drinking, swimming, kayaking, water skiing, fishing, etc.  When the water is polluted we cannot use this water as a resource.  Think of all of the plants and animals that rely upon water for their survival.  Pretty scary thought.  But what people do not think about is how easily our water gets polluted.

 

Water pollution can be divided into two groups:

 

1.  Point source pollution -stationary sources such as sewage treatment plants, factories and ships.

 

2.  Nonpoint source pollution- delivered by indirect means such as runoff from farms, paved roadways and parking lots.

 

One of the dangers of water pollution is that any pollution is dangerous.  An additional concern to water quality is by illicit discharge.

 

ILLICIT DISCHARGE

 

What is an illicit discharge? An illicit discharge is the release of untreated wastewater into our waters via a storm drain or direct wash off into ditches, rivers, lakes, and streams.  In other words, any waste that gets into our water.  

 

Click here to find out more about the following Common Pollutants found in stormwater? 

 

Sediment

nutrients

organic matter

bacteria

oil and grease

toxic substances

heavy metals 

 

With all of the pollutants that could go into our water, what can be done to mitigate these occurrences?  The process to control this release of common pollutants is called stormwater management.

 

Stormwater Management

 

Stormwater management is the practice of efficiently channeling storm waters through the network of drainage pathways, both underground and on the surface within a given community. 

 

Additionally, stormwater management seeks to lessen the number of pollutants that are collected as it passes over impervious surfaces and moves into watersheds. 

 

Several communities in the counties of Berrien and Cass are working together to improve and protect water quality.  The SWMPC is the coordinating agency to implement the public education component of the stormwater program. 

 

WHAT DOES STORMWATER RUNOFF LOOK LIKE?

 

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW?

 

WHAT IS THE STATE DOING ABOUT STORMWATER MANAGEMENT?

 

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?

 

This page last updated on 7/28/2010.
 
Southwest Michigan Planning Commission  
376 West Main Street  Suite 130  Benton Harbor, MI 49022-3651
Phone: 269.925.1137  Fax: 269.925.0288  
 
 
 

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