The main goal of the Town of Elkton Storm Water Management Program is to protect the quality of our surface waters - ponds, creeks and the Elk River. Clean water is a life-giving natural resource and the centerpiece of any healthy environment. Our waterways support a wealth of wildlife and aquatic habitat, and provide us with a glimpse of nature in the midst of an urban setting.
Today, we know that storm water pollution is one of the biggest threats to the health of our creeks, bays and rivers. The problem is magnified by widespread development, which puts a lot of stress on the environment. By converting land from an undisturbed condition to a developed state we've covered the landscape with impervious surfaces - buildings, roads, rooftops and parking lots. Rainwater that is used to soaking into the ground now becomes urban runoff. As it flows over the land, the runoff collects pollutants on its way to the nearest storm drain or creek. Unlike sewage, which is collected and treated, anything that flows into our storm sewer system empties directly into our waterways without any treatment.Common pollutants include sediment, oil and grease, detergents, fertilizers, pesticides, toxic metals, and harmful bacteria. Oil and grease and detergents are washed off of roads and parking lots. Fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides are released from lawns and landscaped areas. Sediment and debris are carried off of construction sites. Pet wastes and sanitary sewer overflows are the main source of harmful bacteria or pathogens.
Within the Town of Elkton, the polluted storm water runoff eventually flows into the Elk River, impacting the source of our drinking water. Because the sources of contaminants are so widespread - our cars, streets, parking lots, lawns, golf courses, construction sites, etc. - the runoff is referred to as "nonpoint source pollution." Many of our daily activities contribute to NPS pollution and can take their toll on water quality.
As a Phase II city, we must implement six minimum measures to improve stormwater quality. The creation of a stormwater management program for the city of Elkton is a huge task. Your participation and support are necessary in order to adequately protect our water resources and the environment. It's important for us to realize that we - not industry - are responsible for most of today's water quality impacts. As stewards of this indispensable resource, we must make changes in our daily activities to preserve the ecological integrity of our waterways for generations to come. Remember, it's our water so let's "Take it personally!"