Learn About Stormwater

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Stormwater Defined

Stormwater is rain or snow melt that flows over impervious surfaces such as roads, rooftops, and driveways. As it flows, it picks up pollutants such as trash, dog waste, lawn fertilizers, car washing soaps, bacteria, and oil. Stormwater is then transported through a network of underground pipes and dumped into local waterways like Bozeman Creek.

Why is stormwater important?

Polluted stormwater that flows into local streams and rivers can negatively impact water quality, fish populations, wildlife habitat, public infrastructure, and community health.

You can make an immediate difference by educating yourself, adjusting your current practices, getting involved, and talking with your friends. See below for a list of 5 simple things you can do today:

  1. Pick up pet waste! Dog poop is a contributor to E. coli contamination in our local streams. One gram of dog feces contains 23,000,000 strands of fecal bacteria.
  2. Apply fertilizer responsibly and not before rainstorms. Excess fertilizer results in an abundance of nutrients in local streams and can cause harmful algae growth.
  3. Take your car or truck to a car wash or wash it on your lawn. Washing your vehicle in the street or your driveway allows soap and grime to flow into the stormwater system, giving it a straight path to our local waterways.
  4. Reduce the amount of stormwater runoff occurring on your property. Install a rain barrel to capture water for reuse or create a rain garden to improve infiltration and lawn aesthetics.
  5. Never dump anything into a storm drain, ditch, pond, or stream. If you see someone disposing of any harmful chemicals or pollutants, please report by calling (406)582-3200.

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Image 1: Resident fishing the East Gallatin River

Stormwater Master Plan, Design Standards, and State Regulations

Please contact the Stormwater Division if you have any questions regarding the following:

  • Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) regulations related to urban stormwater runoff within the City.

 

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