Stormwater pollution makes water look bad and smell worse. For drinking water, filtering out pollutants and contaminants increases treatment costs, so we all pay higher water bills or our water is not as clean. When reservoirs fill up with sediment, reservoir capacity is reduced because they are full of silt, not water.
Polluted runoff can damage streams, rivers, lakes and ponds. Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms and fish kills, muddy water keeps fish from feeding and breeding, and excess bacteria can harm both wildlife and people. If pollutants reach high levels, the water can be unsuitable or even dangerous for humans and animals. These conditions are unsafe for swimming and even recreational use that does not involve direct contact with the water, such as boating and fishing.
When beaches close or fishing is restricted due to water pollution, recreation is impossible and nearby towns and businesses lose money. When shellfish waters are closed because the shellfish are unsafe to eat, some people may lose their jobs and everyone pays more for seafood.
One problem associated with excessive quantities of stormwater is urban flooding due to increased runoff. Flooding can damage property and can result in death and injury to people in harm’s way.