Storm Water
The impact of runoff on our waterways

Storm water is rainwater that does not soak into the ground, but instead runs over hard surfaces (roofs, lawns, driveways, sidewalks, and streets) while picking up pollutants along the way. Eventually, those pollutants, driven by rainwater, dump into our waterways.

images: storm water movement pix

About storm water

H2O makes up two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, working to regulate our global climate. Water is what we drink, how we cook, where we play—it’s how we survive!

We all know Earth’s H2O falls down from the clouds in liquid form as rain, but what you may not know is that it eventually drains into our larger bodies of water.

Storm water is rainwater that does not soak into the ground, but instead runs over hard surfaces (roofs, lawns, driveways, sidewalks, and streets) while picking up pollutants along the way. Eventually, those pollutants, driven by rainwater—whether trash, chemicals, fertilizer or pesticides, pet waste, automotive fluids, or sediments—dump into our waterways.

infographic about hydrologic cycle

Our storm water programs help reduce the negative effects to Tampa Bay

image: storm drain marking placard

Marking curbside storm drains with placards that read “DUMP NO WASTE, DRAINS TO BAY” is just one of the ways we can help educate about the importance of clean water. The goal is to remind us that our personal actions, whether inland or along a coastline, impact our larger waterways. 

Read more about the storm drain marking program.

image: watergoat trash

Watergoats (the threaded, floating buoy structure as shown in these pictures) surround discharge storm water outfalls or stream mouths before opening into the bay. This boom barrier helps to capture litter before it’s carried by the tides further into our waterways. 

Read more about the watergoat trash removal program.

For more tips, information, and videos, check out the City of St. Petersburg’s stormwater web page. 

Email Melanie Grillone with questions about this program:

mgrillone@tampabaywatch.org