Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do pollutants get into surface and ground water?

There can be many sources of pollution that impact surface and ground waters. Surface water pollution can be caused from accidental or deliberate spills of harmful or even benign substances, from improperly treated wastewater from a sewage treatment plant or an industrial operation, from erosion, or from runoff as the result of a rain storm. Runoff can be contaminated because it can wash pollutants off the land it flows across. Researchers have found that different types of land uses can produce different types and amounts of pollutants. For example, residential runoff can be high in pesticides while runoff from retail/commercial land use can be high in trash and bacteria. Contaminants carried in the air and blown around by the wind may also settle on the ground, adding to the pollution of runoff.

  SCCWRP Atmospheric Deposition Study

  Stormwater Manager's Resource Center