The goal of the Town of North East’s Storm Water Management Program is to protect the quality of our various water sources throughout the town. Clean water access is imperative for biodiverse and healthy wildlife, safe drinking/swimming/recreation water, and the economic benefits that our beautiful water-based community attracts through tourism.
Today, we know that stormwater pollution is one of the biggest threats to the health of our creeks, bays, and rivers. By converting land from an undisturbed condition to a developed state we’ve covered the landscape with impervious surfaces – buildings, roads, rooftops, and parking lots. Rainwater that is used to soak into the ground now becomes runoff. As it flows over the land, the runoff collects pollutants on its way to the nearest storm drain or creek. Unlike sewage, which is collected and treated, anything that flows into our storm sewer system empties directly into our waterways without any treatment. Common pollutants include sediment, oil and grease, detergents, fertilizers, pesticides, toxic metals, and harmful bacteria. Oil and grease and detergents are washed off of roads and parking lots. Fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides are released from lawns and landscaped areas. Sediment and debris are carried off of construction sites. Pet wastes and sanitary sewer overflows are the main sources of harmful bacteria or pathogens.
All citizens of North East must do their part to help keep our waterways clean, and healthy and continue to serve as the foundation for recreation. To learn more on how to be a responsible citizen, please be active in reporting illicit discharges and read the following literature, Protecting the waterways of North East, A Citizen’s Guide to Stormwater Management.
The below timeline provides additional context into the history of the town’s stormwater management plan.