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What is Storm Water?

Storm water is rainfall or melted snow that runs off impervious surfaces, such as rooftops, streets, sidewalks, and parking lots. Impervious, or hard, surfaces prevent the storm water from naturally soaking into the ground, where the soil would filter out pollutants. As it flows, storm water picks up pollutants from these surfaces. Common pollutants include vehicle exhaust products, brake and tire dust, oil and grease, sediment, salt, fertilizers and pesticides, pet waste, and litter. Because storm water is untreated, these pollutants enter our waterways.

What is ODOT’s role?

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) uses best management practices (BMPs) to control and manage storm water. These include structural devices, maintenance procedures, and management practices that prevent or reduce the harmful effects of storm water runoff; such as pollution, erosion and flooding. BMPs may include:

  •  » Detention and infiltration ponds, wide grass ditches, catch basins, and culverts
  •  » Maintenance operations that keep highways clean of sand, litter and debris that could make its way into streams and rivers
  •  » Increasing the monitoring and maintenance frequency of structural BMPs.
  •  » Pollution prevention practices on road construction projects.

Picture of car going down earthen road prior to State Highway Maintenance.

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