Kids Corner

What is Storm Water Pollution?

Storm water pollution happens when items such as trash, cigarette butts, soap, and other hazardous materials end up in our rivers, creeks, and streams. The water becomes dirty and then flows through our storm drains. This is why it is called “storm water pollution.”

What are Storm Drains?

In Rock Island and surrounding communities, storm drains run along streets, within parking lots, and in many other areas. The purpose of the drains is to help remove storm water from areas that would otherwise flood, such as parking lots and streets. The drains almost always lead to a local waterway, such as the river. Because stormwater travels across streets, parking lots, driveways, and other areas, it picks up pollutants such as gasoline, litter, animal waste, and yard chemicals. These hazardous materials are carried with the water through the drain and are not removed before entering into our waterways.

What is Contamination?

When hazardous materials enter the waterways, the water is said to be “contaminated.” Contamination means something has polluted the water and has made it unsafe and unhealthy for people, animals, and the environment.

Follow These Guidelines

You can help keep our rivers and streams clean by following these rules: