Storm drains are the metal grates that are found on streets, often at corners and on the sides of curbs and gutters. The purpose of the storm drain is to help prevent flooding by diverting rainwater and melted snow off of the streets and other paved surfaces and into a natural body of water.
Although storm drains fulfill an important purpose, they can harm water quality. The rainwater that is directed into a lake or stream by the storm drains is not treated. The rainwater can pick up substances along the way such as lawn chemicals, oil, other household chemicals like paint, and soap and wash it directly into the stream. This runoff can pollute our waterways, harm wildlife and degrade water quality.
However, there are steps that you can take to prevent pollutants from running into lakes and streams.
For more information about water quality issues, please contact the Engineering division by calling 816-439-4500. To learn more about regional water quality, please visit the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Water Quality Website.