Public Education & Outreach

One of the biggest struggles in providing effective stormwater management throughout the City of Portsmouth is educating the general public on what stormwater management is and why it is necessary. While rainfall is a natural occurrence, rainfall on developed lands can have adverse effects on our environment.

Impervious Surfaces

New development often reshapes land, installs new features and/or increases impervious cover. Impervious surface is defined as any surface that is not readily penetrable by water; this includes:
  • Driveways
  • Parking Lots
  • Roadways
  • Rooftops
  • Sidewalks
  • Other Developed Lands

Prevent & Protect Water From Pollutants

When rainwater travels across an impervious surface it often collects pollutants such as sediment, toxic chemicals from leaky cars, trash and other miscellaneous debris. Additionally, this rainwater gathers pollutants from natural ground coverings such as pet waste, excess fertilizer, and sediment from denuded areas. This polluted stormwater travels to the nearest inlet structure where it is directly discharged, untreated, into nearby receiving channels where excess nutrients and sediment impair our waterways.
With our region under a mandate to restore water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, it is imperative that we take responsibility for our own actions and reduce the impact we have on our environment. View a schematic illustrating steps everyone can take and read our document on to Help Protect Our Waterways (PDF).
Schematic of house interior and ground - subground levels