Northwest Arkansas Stormwater Program
What is the NWA Urban Stormwater Education Program?
Nineteen Northwest Arkansas cities, Benton and Washington counties, and the University of Arkansas are partnering with the U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service and the NWA Regional Planning Commission on a regional approach to stormwater management. Both EPA and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality have recognized the collaborative NWA Urban Stormwater Education Program as an innovative and effective pollution prevention education effort to help protect the region's water resources.
Arkansas Stormwater Education
When it rains, snows or sleets in Arkansas, where does that water go? Does it soak into the ground? Does it sit in puddles until it evaporates? The water actually does both of those things, but some of the water will also flow over the land surface, heading downhill to the nearest ditch or stream. This is called stormwater runoff.
In Arkansas cities and towns, the water cannot soak in through the pavement, rooftops, and concrete like it can into the soil. This means that there's more stormwater runoff in cities and that in forests and fields. The water flows off impervious surfaces such as driveways, rooftops, sidewalks, and parking lots, and usually flows straight into a storm drain. These openings along roads and in parking lots connect to pipes which carry the water directly to your local stream or lake.
Where does litter come from?
More than 50% of litter found near water comes from disposable plastic packaging from food and beverage-related goods (things like plastic cups, bottles, straws, utensils, and stirrers). This waste finds its way to waterways through the storm drain system and starts with people carelessly disposing of waste.
Learn more about where litter comes on EPA's Sources of Aquatic Trash page.
Stormwater flows untreated down our streets and drains directly to local creeks. Thanks for doing your part to keep it free of trash and other pollutants such as pet waste, chemicals, auto fluids, fertilizers and yard waste.