- Streams and rivers in Georgia continue to be threatened by pollution. This is especially true in urban areas due to the effects of development. Significant improvements in wastewater treatment facilities have reduced pollution from direct discharges to streams called point-source pollution. However, non-point source pollution resulting from storm water runoff continues to be a growing threat to the water quality and ecology of our streams and rivers.
- Non Point Source Pollution: Human activity is the main cause of non-point source pollution. In urbanized areas pollutants accumulate on the ground and on paved surfaces. Examples of non-point source pollutants include: dirt, leaves, grass clippings, pesticides, fertilizers, paint, trash, litter, oil, grease, antifreeze, bacteria, toxic chemicals. When it rains, these pollutants are “washed-off” the ground by rainwater and carried to local streams.
- Stormwater runoff: Stormwater runoff is the term used to describe the rainwater that runs off a parking lot, driveways, street, roof top and lawn. The pollution resulting from stormwater runoff increases in areas that have been developed with buildings, pavement and roads. This is because with natural ground cover - such as grass, soil, or forest, rainwater will seep into the ground where it is naturally filtered by the soil. In areas where grass and trees have been replaced with paved surfaces, rainwater is prevented from seeping into the ground and increases the amount of stormwater runoff as well as the concentration of pollutants in the runoff.
Hampton’s Stormwater Program: to protect the health of local streams, the City of Hampton has begun a Stormwater Management Program. This program involves the following objectives:
- Public Education
- Public Involvement and Participation
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
- Post-Development Stormwater Management
- Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations
- Public Educational pamphlets and brochures on stormwater pollution are available to the public at city Hall and the Police department.
- Illicit Discharges: A map has been completed of the City’s storm sewer system infrastructure. This map includes stormwater inlets, catch basins, outlets, detention pond, pipes, drainage ditches, and outfalls to streams and rivers.
- The City of Hampton strives to protect the water quality and health of aquatic ecosystems in local streams and rivers through the implementation of a successful Stormwater Management Program.