Athens has two distinctly different sewer systems--the sanitary sewers and the storm drains. The storm drainage system is designed to prevent flooding by carrying excess rainwater away from streets, homes, and businesses. Because the system contains no treatment mechanism, it also serves the unintended function of carrying urban pollution straight into our streams.
Rain, industrial and household water mixed with urban pollutants creates storm water pollution. The pollutants include: oil, and other automobile fluids, paint and construction debris, yard and pet wastes, pesticides, sedimentation, and litter.
Urban runoff pollution flows to the Oostanuala and Mouse Creeks through the storm drain system that takes water and debris straight from the streets to our streams. Each time it rains, tremendous amounts of polluted urban runoff enters our streams untreated, leaving toxic chemicals in our creeks and river and tons of trash along their banks.
Urban runoff contaminates our streams and rivers, harms aquatic life and increases the risk of flooding by clogging storm drains and catch basins. Overall, storm water pollution cost this country millions of dollars per year.