our surface water – our watershed
What is a watershed? It is an area where all water drains into the same surface source based on topography and elevation. In our case, it is the Kalamazoo River. The Kalamazoo River Watershed covers an area of 2020 square miles with many tributaries draining into the Kalamazoo River from overland or from the ground.
how do pollutants enter surface waters in an urban area?
- Storm sewers are the main source of pollutants, draining virtually everything from lawns, streets, and parking lots directly into local surface waters.
- Storm water is not cleaned and is known as Nonpoint Source pollution (NPS). Common NPS contaminants include: fertilizers, pesticides, grass clippings, leaves, oil, grease, toxic chemicals, sediment, and livestock and pet waste.
- As a matter of fact, too much phosphorus is making its way into the Kalamazoo River Watershed causing increased algal blooms and lower oxygen levels affecting aquatic life
The problem of Nonpoint Source pollution (NPS) is not a small one. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) reports it as the LEADING remaining cause of water quality problems. We all play a part and may not realize it. Each and every one of us contributes to the problem because it results from human activity on the land. It is our responsibility to do all we can to protect our surface water as individuals, and as a community.
The Battle Creek Area Clean Water Partnership was formed with the common goal of protecting the waterways in the Greater Battle Creek Area. The group is helping to lead efforts to control NPS by the following measures:
- Storm water ordinances
- Illicit discharge elimination programs
- Efforts to eliminate failing on-site septic systems
- Phosphorus reduction efforts
- Sound land use
- Storm water control projects
- Wellhead, or drinking water, protection programs
Help protect our surface water from dangerous pollutants! Download our watershed brochure for more information and things you can do to help out.