The primary purpose of storm drains is to carry rainwater from developed areas to prevent flooding. What goes into the storm drains in Canyon Lake is carried untreated into the lake, unlike the water that goes down your drain to the sewer. Pollutants discharged to storm drains are transported directly into the lake, untreated and unfiltered. Anything other than pure rain water is a potential contaminate that degrades the water quality of Canyon Lake.
Dirt, oil, debris, chemicals, auto fluids, yard clippings, soapy car water and waste all can pollute the lake and have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals and people; which is why disposing of pollutants into the street, gutter, storm drain or directly into the lake is prohibited by law and can result in stiff penalties. Canyon Lake’s Rules and Regulations pertaining to lake contamination states, “All members shall be responsible for protection of the shoreline and the waters of the lake. They must avoid dumping of debris or spillage of solids or liquid contaminants, which could enter or drain into the lake.”
Canyon Lake also has a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program that is implemented by the city. This is an important environmental requirement that all cities must adhere to in order to prevent urban runoff and maintain clear waterways.
The City of Canyon Lake’s Special Enforcement Team (SET) is trained in a variety of special services such as National Pollution Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) to maintain the city’s compliance with the Clean Water Act.
What can residents do to help? It’s important to remember that any type of surface water runoff can run into the storm drain. For example, when a vehicle is washed on the driveway the water, dirt and grime that is on the car and driveway ends up in the storm drain and eventually into the lake. It’s important to keep vehicles well-maintained and free of leaks and spills.
Residents can also help by properly disposing of animal waste, minimizing runoff by not over watering the lawn, keeping the lawn well-maintained and free of leaves and clippings that could end up in the drain and by not disposing of any chemicals or pollutants in the storm drain.
Additional information can be found on the United States Environmental Protection Agency website at water.epa.gov. To report illegal storm drain disposal, call 1-800-506-2555.