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Stormwater Management

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"Stormwater"...What is it and where does it go?

CanalStorm water is rainwater that washes through our property and streets, taking with it any debris that may be in its path.  This mixture of rain, debris, oil and waste is known as "runoff".  In the past, municipalities, as well as other public and private agencies, worked to get storm water off the roads as quickly as possible to avoid flooding.  The City of Boca Raton Municipal Services Department is working to not only reduce and often eliminate flooding, but to prevent pollution by the elements picked up by runoff.

Here in Boca Raton , we do not treat stormwater like we do sewage.  In fact, in most areas of the Country, inflow and infiltration (I / I) studies are done to find ground water and rainwater leaks in sanitary sewer systems and repair any damage.  Sewage treatment costs money, and treating large amounts of added storm water would be very expensive.  South Florida is surrounded by water bodies such as the Intracoastal Waterway, finger canals, lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, and that is exactly where most storm water runoff goes. For more information regarding Palm Beach County’s stormwater program, please visit StormWaterAndMe.org

Why is stormwater a problem?

Only recently did communities understand the damage stormwater was causing lakes, rivers and bays. After a heavy summer rain, stormwater running off our buildings, homes and streets carry along with it pollutants such as oil and grease from cars and fertilizers from lawns.

Flooding is also a major problem of stormwater. Florida's flat terrain, heavy rains and densely developed properties mean that when storms occur, our old network of storm water drains can't handle runoff quickly enough. This means puddles form, hampering traffic flow and is an inconvenience to everyone.

Boca Raton residents are encouraged to learn more about storm water, and support your storm water assessment program.  This program is working for all of us and will enable our future generations to enjoy cleaner water.  This webpage will help to explain more about NPDES, BMPs, assessments, construction, and what you can do to help.