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Why should we be concerned about stormwater runoff? Runoff from rainstorms and snowmelt is the most signi fi cant source of water pollu- tion today. Stormwater carries sediment, oil, grease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other pollutants into storm drains and then, untreated , into nearby waterbodies. Because most stormwater drainage systems provide no treatment, preventing contamination of stormwater is crucial to ensure that pollutants are not released into the environ- ment. Municipal drinking water systems may face higher costs if they must treat water contaminated by stormwater runoff. Improperly managed stormwater runoff is also a leading cause of fl ooding, which can lead to property damage, cause road safety hazards, and clog catch basins and culverts with sediment and debris. Sediment in waterways can impede navigation and require expensive dredging. How does runoff degrade rivers, lakes and coastal waters?
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