Stormwater

Overview

Storm WaterStormwater runoff is generated from rain and snowmelt events that flow over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops, and does not soak into the ground. The runoff picks up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment that can harm our rivers, streams, lakes, and coastal waters. To protect these resources, communities, construction companies, industries, and others, use stormwater controls, known as best management practices (BMPs). These BMPs filter out pollutants and/or prevent pollution by controlling it at its source.

What National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)?

The NPDES permit program addresses water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States.

Created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act, the NPDES permit program is authorized to state governments by EPA to perform many permitting, administrative, and enforcement aspects of the program.

Why Stormwater Matters To Groundwater

In natural, undeveloped areas, a large percentage of relatively uncontaminated precipitation infiltrates the ground, thus recharging the ground water; the remaining runoff flows to nearby water bodies or evaporates. Natural physical, chemical, and biologic processes cleanse the water as it moves through vegetation and soil and into ground water. Development alters natural systems as vegetation and open spaces are replaced with new areas of impervious surfaces such as roads, parking lots, roofs, and turf, which greatly reduce infiltration and thus ground water recharge. Uncontrolled stormwater runoff collects pollutants such as sediments, pathogens, fertilizers/nutrients, hydrocarbons, and metals, which ultimately contaminate and degrade surface and ground water.

From the Ground Water Report to the Nation

Stormwater Management - Summary Sheet : Full Chapter

Additional Resources

News

IN OUR OPINION Stormwater - A Beneficial Resource or a Contaminant: Infiltrate With Caution

Stormwater is a valuable resource that, with proper infiltration, can provide new groundwater resour...

GWPC and NGWA Provide Joint Comments to EPA on Proposed 2020 Financial Capability Assessment for CWA Obligations

The Ground Water Protection Council and the National Ground Water Association are jointly providing ...

Supreme Court rejects EPA's narrow view of Clean Water Act

(By Mark Sherman | Associated Press) The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that sewage plants and other i...

Events

02/09/2021 – 08/31/2021

Aquifer Storage & Recovery / Managed Aquifer Recharge Webinar:
What's New With the EPA - Reuse, UIC, Stormwater

09/26/2021 – 09/29/2021

The GWPC brings it all together with an in-person multi-day Annual Forum conference in the month of September. The GWPC Annual Forum is the place for attendees to continue the discussion on topics of importance through live sessions, interactive roundtables and discussion groups, and networking opportunities. Registration fees and hotel information will be announced soon.

Publications

02/2017

Ground Water Report to the Nation

Our groundwater resources are in serious need of attention. Abundant, high quality, low-cost groundwater resources are fundamental to the long-term growth and vitality of our nation, yet this most important resource is often overlooked, if not neglected. Attention to the protection and management of groundwater has consistently lagged behind that given to surface waters, meaning that historic and current water resource laws and policies deal primarily with the protection and management of our more visible lakes, rivers, and wetlands.

The purpose of the Ground Water Report to the Nation is to highlight some of the more prevalent threats to groundwater, share sucess stories, and make recommendations for improved groundwater protection and awareness.  

Note: Please visit the Ground Water Report to the Nation topics page for individual chapters of the report.

Work Groups

No workgroups were found.

Resolutions

No resolutions were found.

Comments

10/2020

Joint Comments on the USEPA on the Proposed 2020 Financial Capability Assessment for Clean Water Act (CWA) Obligations

The Ground Water Protection Council and the National Ground Water Association jointly provided comments and feedback on the USEPA on the Proposed 2020 Financial Capability Assessment for Clean Water Act (CWA) Obligations. We support funding for communities needing assistance in managing their water resources and for stormwater reuse that may be used as a source of recharge for aquifers as well as supporting the environment. Assessing the financial capability of communities is fundamental to providing financial assistance for adequate needed infrastructure. 

05/2018

Comments on 40 CFR Part 122 [EPA–HQ–OW–2018–0063; FRL–9973–41–OW] Clean Water Act Coverage of ‘‘Discharges of Pollutants’’ via a Direct Hydrologic Connection to Surface Water

The Ground Water Protection Council (www.gwpc.org) provided comments and feedback to the EPA regarding the Agency review and potential revisions or clarification to its previous statements concerning the applicability of the CWA NPDES permit program to pollutant discharges from point sources that reach jurisdictional surface waters via groundwater or other subsurface flow that has a direct hydrologic connection to a jurisdictional surface water. The following comments are intended to broadly address this request, but they do not necessarily reflect all of the concerns of individual states.
08/2017

Comments on EPA’s Draft National Water Program Guidance 2018-2019, Publication Number 800D17001

The Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) provided comments on the draft National Water Program Guidance for 2018-2019.

11/2014

Comments on proposed rule defining Waters of the United States protected under the Clean Water Act (79FR22188)

The Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) provided comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) proposed rules defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA).