Storm Water Program

Storm Water
Storm water is runoff water from rain or melting snow that flows across the landscape. Runoff flows off of rooftops, paved areas, bare soil, and lawns. Impervious surfaces are hard surfaces, such as sidewalks, driveways, streets, and rooftops, that don’t allow water to infiltrate into the ground. As the amount of impervious surfaces increases, less water is able to infiltrate into the ground, and more runoff is created.

For more detailed information about storm water, please see our information sheet.

Pollution
Storm water runoff is our most common cause of water pollution. Storm water picks up and transports many of the pollutants it encounters, including dirt, pet wastes, pesticides, fertilizers, and automobile fluids. Many of these pollutants can cause problems in very small amounts.

Reducing Pollutants
  • Use less toxic alternatives to household chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides.
  • Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on a lawn or other unpaved surface.
  • Pick up your pets' waste and dispose of it properly.
  • Minimize impervious areas to improve infiltration.
  • Select native plants and grasses that are drought- and pest-resistant.
  • If you have a septic system - have it inspected by a professional every three years and have the septic pumped as necessary (usually every three to five years).
  • For more suggestions, see our information sheet.
Reporting Storm Water Pollution
Potential storm water pollution can be reported to the Missoula County Water Quality District. Their phone number is 406-258-4890. Calls can be made anonymously.

Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and messages can be left after hours.