Protecting Our WaterThreats to Our Water
Sources of Pollution
Water pollution comes from either point sources (PS) or nonpoint sources (NPS). PS pollution comes from a single, easily-identifiable source such as an industry or wastewater treatment plant. NPS pollution comes from diffuse sources and is commonly caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground picking up pollutants and depositing them in rivers, lakes, wetlands and groundwater.
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In our urban community, the biggest contributor to nonpoint source pollution to surface water is stormwater runoff — the water that flows and drains after a rain or snow melt. Unlike sewage from our homes and businesses, which is captured and piped to the wastewater treatment plant to be cleaned, rain or melting snow runoff from lawns, streets, and parking lots flows directly to our rivers, lakes, and streams untreated. It impacts both our surface water and groundwater.
The biggest threat to groundwater is also nonpoint source pollution from practices on the land, such as leaking underground storage tanks, failed septic tank systems, spills of hazardous chemicals from industrial sites, transportation accidents, and mismanaged manure operations.
Individuals can also pollute the groundwater by dumping motor oil, fuels, cleaners, paints, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides on the ground or down the drain. Take hazardous wastes to a community collection event to protect our drinking water.
Know Where Your Stormwater Goes!
Stormwater (water that runs off the land surface during a rain event) enters the City of Battle Creek’s underground storm sewer system through grates and inlets along the curbs.
This aerial photo shows a part of City of Battle Creek’s storm sewer pipes (labeled storm mains). You can follow a storm drain inlet underground through the pipes from McCamly Plaza Square all the way to the Battle Creek River storm outfall (red square)!
To find out where your storm drain goes and to adopt a storm drain near you, call the City of Battle Creek’s Environmental Services at 269-966-3355 ext. 1889.