DEP Home : Water : Stormwater Pollution
For questions about stormwater pollution contact DEP:
Click image to see how rain water becomes stormwater.
Many people mistakenly believe that the rainfall runoff from roads, driveways, and parking lots that enters storm drains is treated at a wastewater treatment plant. But most runoff into storm drains goes untreated into streams, rivers, and lakes. Waterbodies in Montgomery County are directly affected by what is carried (or dumped) into storm drains. There are many ways that you can help prevent stormwater pollution in your area.
Stormwater is regulated by law. Montgomery County is regulated by, and operates under, a State of Maryland-issued National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit (MS4 permit), which prohibits polluted discharges or illicit flows into the storm drain system. DEP's code enforcement staff investigates all stormwater violations (that are reported in a timely manner).
The County's stormwater permit addresses a universal phenomenon that affects everyone:
Anything that leaks, or is left or thrown on the ground, on lawns, streets, homes, construction sites, and neighborhoods, that may be carried by rainfall runoff to our streams is regulated by this law. It is also illegal to introduce any polluting substance into the storm drain through deliberate dumping or pouring.
Stormwater is handled in one of the following ways:
All stormwater management facilities are subject to county, state, and federal regulations. To learn more about stormwater management in your area, contact the DEP Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance at 311 or email DEP at email@example.com.
Urban rainfall runoff flows into storm drains and directly into local streams or stormwater management facilities such as this pond.
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Stormwater runoff from roads, driveways, rooftops, and parking lots is not treated at a wastewater treatment plant. Stormwater pollutes in various ways:
There are many ways in which you can have a direct effect on the quality of the water that enters the streams and waterways in Montgomery County. Learn how you can help stop stormwater pollution in your area.
Montgomery County is regulated under Phase I of the EPA NPDES program and operates under a State of Maryland-issued permit (MS4 permit) that governs stormwater discharges from the Countys stormwater management system.
Learn more about the regulatory requirements and implementation of Montgomery County's stormwater permit. The permit is enforced through the County's Water Quality Ordinance (Chapter 19, Article 4 of the Montgomery County Code).
Report improper storage and handling of hazardous material to DEP.
Unless the state has issued a specific permit, the following are explicitly prohibited:
Learn more about Montgomery County's stormwater management programs:
Polluting storm drains is against the law! If you see or suspect a violation of the County's stormwater permit, such as people washing or pouring oil, paint, or other liquids into a storm drain or otherwise deliberately introducing pollutants down a storm drain, use DEP's online form, call 311, or email DEP at firstname.lastname@example.org to report it!