Frequently Asked Questions


Why is stormwater important?

Stormwater is important because it can lead to pollution, erosion, flooding, and many other environmental and health issues is not properly understood and maintained. Even houses that are not besides a creek or lake can contribute to problems.

What can I do to make a difference at home?

You can make a difference by simply changing a few practices at home. See Managing Stormwater at Home.

how does the county manage stormwater?

Salt Lake County has a flood control and water quality department; therefore, county employees are responsible in maintaining all major creeks, canals, and the Jordan River. These are called Title 17 ‘ facilities’. Legal code for major drainages and waterways.

Which is more harmful, oil or grass clippings?

If you were to pour a quart of oil and a bag of grass clippings down the storm drain at the same time —the oil would be the most harmful. Why? When the overall cumulative effect of thousands of people send grass clippings down the storm drain versus the few who put oil down the drain it becomes one of the top pollutants of stormwater.

is it okay to wash my paint brushes out in the gutter?

No, paint can be toxic to fish by interfering with breathing, plant growth, and effect the reproduction of water bugs.

Where does stormwater end up?

Each drop of rain that falls on your property should be kept clean, as it should drain away as clean as it came. All stormwater leads to local lakes, rivers, and streams, untreated.

What is a bmp?

Best Management Practices (BMP) is a term used to describe a type of water pollution control.

how does pet waste left on the grass affect stormwater?

Pet waste can be picked-up by rain as it travels down the storm drain carrying with it bacteria and other harmful materials into streams.

Why are grass clippings harmful to stormwater?

Yard waste contributes nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, which cause unwanted and uncontrolled growth of algae and aquatic weeds.

Is it okay to sweep or water down the dirt, grass, and/or other natural elements down the storm drain?

Actually, dirt can clog spawning areas for fish and cover the water channel floor resulting in fish food being covered and the fish unable to sustain life.