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It is water from precipitation (rain, snow melt, etc.) that accumulates on the surface. As it flows, it collects and transports pollutants (soil, pet waste, salt, pesticides, fertilizer, oil and grease, leaves, litter, etc.). Stormwater is part of the water cycle.
A portion of the stormwater gets absorbed into the soil, which is called infiltration. The excess water that flows across a surface is called runoff. Impermeable surfaces (roofs, concrete, pavement, etc.) do not allow water to infiltrate into the soil and contributes to the amount of runoff.
Runoff enters into the storm system before finally flowing untreated into Bear Creek. This runoff will eventually make its way north to the Arctic Ocean. See watershed for more information.
Stormwater gets collected and transported through Grande Prairie's inter-connected storm system. It consists of:
Historically we tried to get rid of stormwater as quick as possible. However water is a resource that needs to be managed in sustainable manner. Stormwater is managed for two main reasons.
Alberta Environment and Water has many programs and services that address our water.
The best way to handle stormwater is to:
Depending on your land-use, there are a variety of Best Management Practices (BMPs) that designers, engineers and landscapers can utilize to manage stormwater on your property. The BMPs are categorized as follows:
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