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What is Storm Water?
Storm water is rainwater that does not get absorbed into the ground and runs off the land into streams and other bodies of water. All storm water that runs into the same body of water is part of the same watershed.

A watershed is an area of land that drains to a specific stream, river, pond, lake, wetland or ocean. Watersheds are vital to wildlife, humans, the environment, and our economy. Because all land is part of a watershed, everyone lives in a watershed. You and everyone in your watershed are part of the watershed community. What happens in your small watershed also affects the larger watershed downstream.
Major Watersheds in Mahoning County
How Is Storm Water Polluted?
When storm water runs over the land or soaks into the ground, it picks up pollutants and deposits them into streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and some underground sources of drinking water. These pollutants are known as non-point source pollutants because the pollution cannot be traced to one specific source. Non-point source pollution comes from a variety of sources and, therefore, is hard to control. Non-point source pollution is the leading cause of water quality problems in the nation and Ohio. It affects drinking water supplies, wildlife habitats, recreational areas, and fisheries. For a list of common pollutants, visit our Common Non-Point Source Pollution page.