What’s the big deal with storm water pollution?

Did you know that 70% of Maui’s assessed marine water bodies are considered impaired due to pollutants carried by storm water runoff?1 When you hear the word pollution what do you think about? Many people think about trash or oil, but pollution can also be grass clippings, fertilizers, pesticides, and even dirt.

A common misconception is that rain water that enters storm drains gets treated and filtered like sewage. This rarely happens – instead, in order to prevent flooding, the storm drains are designed to quickly move water directly to streams, harbors, and the ocean. This means that anything that rain water washes off our roads is then transported into streams and the ocean. We all need to do our part to ensure our drains stay clean, so remember – Nothing but rain should go down the drain. 

170% of Maui’s assessed marine water bodies are in non-attainment for nutrient numeric criteria.  Source: DOH-CWB, 2014 State of Hawaii Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report, September 2, 2014.