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Jackson Township
Storm Water - Frequently Asked Questions


1.    What is storm water runoff?

Runoff is water in the street, gutter and storm drain system.  Storm water runoff is precipitation from rain or snow melt that flows over the ground.

2.    Isn’t storm water runoff natural and harmless because it only consists of rain water?

Rain and snow melt are natural.  However, as it flows to the sewer, it can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, pet waste, and other pollutants and deposit them into a storm sewer system or water body.  Anything that enters a storm sewer is discharged untreated into the water bodies we use for swimming, fishing, and for providing drinking water.  Only one percent (1%) of our water is usable drinking water.

3.    Are sewers and storm drains the same thing?

No, they are two completely separate drainage systems.  Waste water from your sinks, showers, toilets, and washing machines will travel through the sanitary sewer system to a waste water treatment plant where it is extensively treated before being discharged.  However, the water entering storm drains flows untreated to lakes, streams, rivers, etc.

4.    What kinds of pollutants are found in the storm drain systems?

Oils, antifreeze, fertilizers, pesticides, human and animal waste, paint products, sediment, lawn debris (grass and leaves), trash and other debris are commonly found in storm sewers.

5.    What solutions exist to solve storm water pollution?

Storm water pollution can be reduced and prevented through responsible practices of citizens, property owners, and businesses.

6.    What is NPDES?

NPDES stands for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  NPDES requires that storm water discharging to waters of the United States meet minimum federal water quality requirements.

7.    Why doesn’t the city/county build a storm water treatment facility?Because of the variation of rain and snowfall amounts and runoff volume, a storm water treatment facility is economically infeasible.

8.    Is it okay to wash my car in the driveway?

If you wash your car in the driveway, soap and chemicals will enter the storm drain and eventually drain into various water bodies.  Commercial car washes are connected to the sanitary sewer system and the soap and chemicals flow to the treatment plant instead of a river, lake, or stream, etc.  If you must wash your car at home, do it on the lawn, not the driveway.  It will soak into the ground allowing less to flow into the drain.

9.    Is it okay to wash out paint brushes and similar items in the gutter?

No.  Paint brushes and other equipment should be cleaned in a sink.  Old paint should never be poured outside.  Place kitty litter in the can and allow the paint to soak into it and dry up.

10. Is it okay to leave pet waste on the ground?

No. Pet waste carries bacteria that can harm humans and other animals.  When left on the ground it can contaminate rain or snow runoff as it travels to the storm drains.  Pet waste should be picked up and disposed of in trash containers or toilet.  It is not natural for the environment.

11. Why should I care about what goes down the storm drain?

Everyone should be concerned about storm water quality because what we put down storm drains could end up in our lakes, rivers, streams, etc.  This is the same water that we swim and fish in and drink from.

12. What can I do to make a difference?

·         Wash your car at a car wash or on the lawn.

·         Mulch grass clippings into your lawn, begin composting.

·         Sweep dirt onto the lawn and pick up any litter you find.

·         Pick up pet waste and flush it or put it in the trash.

·         When fertilizing or using pesticides-use sparingly and use organic.

·         Avoid over watering and watering over pavement.

·         Recycle.

For more information, contact the Stark County Regional Planning Commission at
330-451-7405 or visit

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Jackson Township
5735 Wales Avenue NW
Massillon, Ohio 44646

Call 330-832-7416
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