Stormwater is water originating from a rain event or snowmelt. Stormwater runoff occurs when the ground is unable to absorb all of the water. Impervious surfaces (such as buildings, driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, roads, and even compacted gravels and soils) prevent most of the runoff from infiltrating into the ground. As such, the runoff is often directed into physical drainage systems (such as catch basins), and then discharged into local rivers, streams, and other water bodies.
As the stormwater runoff flows, it picks up pollutants (such as fertilizer, oils, salt, sediment, and trash), carries them into those drainage systems, and eventually into our local water bodies. These pollutants can cause algae blooms among other aesthetic, health, and environmental issues. Unlike wastewater, stormwater runoff is often untreated or only pretreated before they are discharged into our local water bodies. Therefore, it is very important that we work as a community to keep our stormwater clean.
Nantucket is developing a Stormwater By-Law to promote the removal of pollutants from stormwater, to encourage the recharging of stormwater, to develop methods to maintain functional operation of stormwater, to utilize best management practices, to improve stormwater quality prior to discharging to a water body, and to education property owners. The Town will also develop Regulations to provide guidance in the implementation of the Stormwater By-Law.