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Stormwater run-off is the water that flows off roofs, driveways, parking lots, streets, and other hard surfaces during rain storms. Rather than being absorbed into the ground the water runs through ditches and storm drains into the river. It does not receive treatment before entering the river.
Salem’s storm drains empty directly into the Roanoke River.
Yes, for two reasons. Yard clippings carry whatever chemicals are put on the grass. The yard clippings actually act as individual pieces of pollutants. Secondly, yard clippings can slow storm drains and create many problems.
For disposal information call the Fire Administration at 540-375-3080. Often times oil can be taken to auto parts store or oil change facilities for recycling.
Stormwater run-off often carries many pollutants (heavy metals, oil byproducts, excessive nutrients, etc.) into whatever waterway the run-off enters. This pollution can have harsh environmental effects on the biodiversity of the waterway. Not to mention, Salem residents drink their water from the Roanoke River.
Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a term used to describe the amount of pollution a stream can receive and still meet water quality standards. Water quality standards are regulations based on federal or state law that set numeric or narrative limits on pollutants. TMDLs are required for water bodies that are determined to be impaired. The Virginia TMDL program was historically governed by a federal court order Consent Decree that laid out a schedule for TMDL development through 2010 for waters identified as impaired by 1998. For all other water bodies, TMDL development is generally scheduled within 8 to 12 years of finding the water body impaired.
The Roanoke River watershed, which includes Salem, currently has 3 TMDLs: PCB, Bacteria, and Benthic (sediment).