Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground.

Unfortunately, stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants before flowing into a storm sewer system or directly into a lake, stream, river, wetland, or coastal water. 

Stormwater Pollution Solutions

  • Turn off your sprinklers when it rains, to avoid water runoff; during winter, runoff can freeze causing slippery conditions.
  • Bag your pet's waste. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into the storm drain and eventually local waterways.
  • Don't apply pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides before it rains. Contrary to popular belief, the rain won't help to soak these chemicals into the ground; it will only help create polluted runoff into our local creeks.
  • Select native and adapted plants and grasses that are drought and pest resistant. Native plants require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides. Learn more about native and adapted plants at the Texas Smart Scape website.
  • Reduce the amount of paved area and increase the amount of vegetated area in your yard. Vegetation can help act as a natural filter for polluted stormwater runoff.
  • If you change your car's oil. Don't dump it on the ground or in the storm drain; dispose of it properly at an oil recycling center.
  • Check your car, boat, or motorcycle for leaks. Clean up spilled fuels with an absorbent material, don't rinse the spills into the storm drain.
  • Compost your yard waste. View the Compost Guide for more information.
  • Don't get rid of old or unused paint by throwing it down the storm drain; dispose of paint and other hazardous household waste at recycling facilities.
  • For information about compact fluorescent bulbs, view the Information on Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs and Mercury Energy Star document.
  • Don't pump your pool water into the storm drain - pool chemicals can be hazardous to our creek habitats. Whenever possible, drain your pool into the sanitary sewer system where it can be treated.
    • Section 66-72 Draining Residential Pools: It shall be unlawful for any person who owns or occupies any residential lot with a swimming pool to discharge water from the swimming pool onto the property of another, or to drain the pool in such a way as to drain onto the property of another. Provided, however, that water from a swimming pool may be discharged into a dedicated drainage easement. (Code 1969, § 12-66)

Soil and Leaves as Pollutants

It's all about the numbers. The City of Bedford is home to nearly 50,000 people. That number doesn't sound significant until you realize that Bedford is only 10 square miles. That means there are nearly 5,000 people per square mile. Which means, yes, what you do makes a difference! Debris can clog storm drain inlets creating dangerous flooding conditions during heavy rain events. Yard debris enters waterways and begins to decay. This process eats up all the dissolved oxygen in the water, suffocating the organisms in the water. These organisms are all part of the natural processes that help maintain water quality. 

More importantly, every one of our creek channels drains to the Trinity River, which is the primary drinking water supply for the entire Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The better the water quality at the water treatment plant intake area, the better the water quality that enters the distribution system after the treatment process. Stormwater enters the drainage system, including local streams and creeks, untreated!

Report Illegal Dumping

Do your part to help keep our water clean. If you use a lawn service company, make sure they are not dumping your lawn debris in the gutter or down the storm drain. If you witness someone illegally pouring or dumping a substance down the storm drain, please report them by submitting a code violation report.