DEP Home : Water : Stream Damage Caused by Stormwater Pollution
Report stream bank erosion and stream damage caused by stormwater pollution or contact DEP:
Many of Montgomery County's older urban and suburban areas were developed in an era when paved surfaces (roads, parking lots, driveways) were built up without concern for what would happen to rainfall runoff. Stormwater management was not as big a concern as it is today. These areas did not develop with adequately sized stormwater drainage systems and stormwater ponds to receive, detain, and filter runoff before it flowed into streams. As a result, during rain events runoff flushed into streams unmitigated. Damage to the local creeks and streams that flow through these neighborhoods was the unfortunate result.
Storm drains deliver rainfall runoff directly into streams, which in older areas without good ponds and volume management has destroyed stream structure and biological life.
Streams are fragile systems, and often they are unable to withstand the cumulative impacts of urbanization. Types of stream damage include:
The following are examples of stormwater-related stream problems encountered in many of the County's historically urbanized areas.
Exposed tree roots and eroded stream banks.
Eroded channel bottom, which exposes the sewer pipes crossing underneath.
Presence of trash, oil, yard waste, and other illicit discharges brought in by stormwater pipes.
Trash and debris flowing into major rivers in violation of Clean Water Act standards and Stormwater Permit Regulations.
Highly eroded stream banks.
Potential damage to property.
Destruction of biological life.
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