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Stormwater Information
Did you know that the sewer system and storm drain system are two separate systems?

Indoor plumbing is part of our sanitary sewer system that flows to the treatment plant on Dinsmore Drive. Water that flows down impervious surfaces like driveways, streets and outside areas goes into a storm drain and then directly to the nearest creek, affecting fish and wildlife habitats, downstream recreational areas and drinking water supplies

What is Storm Water Pollution?

It includes many types of harmful materials including debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants that are carried by water through the storm drain system to creeks, the Eel River and ultimately the Pacific Ocean. Anything that enters a storm drain system is discharged untreated into the water bodies we use. That polluted storm water runoff can have adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.

Where does storm water pollution come from?

Storm water pollution has many sources. One of the most common is the illegal dumping or spilling of wastes directly into storm drains, like pouring used motor oil or paint directly into a storm drain. From the storm drain, water flows directly into the nearest waterway-garbage, toxins, and all.
  • Debris such as plastic bags, six-pack rings, bottles, cigarette butts, etc. - washed into creeks and rivers can choke, suffocate, or disable aquatic life, including salmon.
  • Household hazardous wastes like insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, and auto fluids can poison aquatic life. Recycle or properly dispose of hazardous products in your home. Don't pour them onto the ground or into storm drains
  • Residential car washing is permissible under Fortuna’s storm water ordinance, but it can send detergents and other contaminants through the storm drain system. Consider using a commercial car wash that treats its wastewater, purchasing an environmentally safe detergent, or wash your car on your yard so the water infiltrates into the ground.
  • Pet waste can be a major source of bacteria and excess nutrients in local waters. When walking your pet, remember to pick up the waste and dispose of it properly. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into the storm drain and eventually into our river.


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