What is stormwater?

Stormwater runoff is a result of rain or snowmelt running across developed lands (impervious surfaces) instead of seeping into the ground. As stormwater runs across impervious surfaces, it picks up other pollutants, such as pesticides or pet waste. In turn, the runoff eventually reaches local streams untreated.

What is nonpoint source pollution?

Nonpoint source pollution is a term used to describe polluted runoff that results from multiple sources, rather than point source pollution, which comes from one source.

What are some major causes of stormwater pollution?

When lands in the Belfair area are developed or altered, we often wind up with impervious surfaces, like parking lots. Unintentionally, many of our day-to-day actions are sources of stormwater pollution. When we leave pet waste or chemical fertilizers on our lawn, these can be carried away by stormwater runoff into our local streams and Hood Canal.

How is stormwater runoff managed?

Luckily, there are many things we can do to help manage stormwater runoff and prevent pollutants from getting into our water. From planting trees and using rain barrels to fixing car leaks and using compost instead of fertilizers, we can do our part to keep Hood Canal clean! More resources are available here.

How does runoff impact the environment, and why should I care?

When stormwater runoff reaches our waterways, it becomes problematic for humans, salmon and shellfish. Polluted runoff can lead to shellfish harvest closures and contaminated drinking water. Runoff can also result in closures to swimming and crabbing. If you enjoy recreating in and around Hood Canal or harvest shellfish for a living, your way of life can be impacted.

How can stormwater management benefit taxpayers?

When our streams and Hood Canal are polluted, we all suffer. Shellfish and salmon will have a harder time surviving pollution and more treatment may be necessary to ensure water is safe for drinking or other uses. Our economy and water quality go hand in hand. If we do our part now, we can save thousands of dollars down the road.

Managing Stormwater

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Did You Know? Despite the gloom and doom, you CAN help manage stormwater! Stormwater management begins in your yard or at your business. Check out how to get started.

Protecting Hood Canal's Shellfish

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Did You Know? Significant amounts of stormwater can increase the risk of flooding, and once polluted, can severely impact Hood Canal's shellfish and salmon, as well as our drinking water.

Pollutants in Hood Canal

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Did You Know? Over 50,000 pounds of pollutants on average are released into the Puget Sound and Hood Canal Ecosystem every day, including oils, metals and more. (Washington State Department of Ecology (2011b). Toxics in Runoff to Puget Sound. Phase 3 Data Loads and Estimates. April 2011

Rain in Puget Sound

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Did You Know? Most of Puget Sound and Hood Canal receive over 40 inches of rain each year. Just an inch of rain over a 1-acre acre equates to over 27,000 gallons of water! That's a lot of stormwater runoff.