Stormwater Education and Storm Drain Markers

PURCELLVILLE’S STORMWATER

WHY IS STORMWATER RUNOFF SO IMPORTANT TO PURCELLVILLE?
As Purcellville is developed, impervious materials such as concrete and asphalt become more common on roadways, parking lots, and rooftops. Since water cannot soak through these materials, more runoff (called stormwater) occurs. Purcellville has adapted to this increase in runoff by the development of a stormwater system. This system covers the entire town and uses a series of drainage ditches, inlets, and piping to channel stormwater off roads, parking lots, and roofs into nearby streams.

The water in this stormwater system is not treated before entering local waterways. The most common pollutants associated with stormwater include oils and greases, heavy metals, salts, pesticides, fertilizers, sediment, suspended solids, litter, and other debris. The responsible disposal of trash, chemicals, pet waste, and wash water (for example from washing automobiles) can help minimize impacts on Purcellville’s streams. If residents contribute to stormwater contamination, consequences will arise. Consequences include destruction of local aquatic wildlife and plants, algae blooms, and the contamination of waterways and aquifers used for drinking water and waterways and ponds/lakes used for boating, swimming, and fishing.

DRAINS FOR RAIN STORMWATER POLLUTION POWERPOINT (PDF)

STORMWATER POLLUTION BROCHURE

WHAT IS A WATERSHED?
A watershed is an area of land where rainwater drains into a common waterway (such as a nearby river). This area can be either large or small, encompassing several states or just a few small streams.

All streams and ponds nearby Purcellville discharge (empty) into the Chesapeake Bay. More specifically, Purcellville’s storm drains empty into small streams and creeks which flow into either Goose Creek or South Fork Catoctin Creek. From there, these two creeks empty from the Potomac River into the Chesapeake Bay and, finally, into the Atlantic Ocean. Since Purcellville’s stormwater flows into the Chesapeake, it is considered to be in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This watershed also includes portions of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. Moreover, Purcellville is part of the Loudoun County Watershed. All streams and creeks in the Loudoun County Watershed eventually discharge into the Potomac River.

WHAT CAN I DO IF I OBSERVE ILLEGAL DUMPING OR OTHER TYPES OF POLLUTION?
If Purcellville residents witness the illegal dumping of chemicals or toxic substances down storm drains, they should call the town office at (540) 338-7421. This number is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Other stormwater issues can also be reported by calling the (540) 338-7421 number as well. These issues include…
  • Erosion problems (Such as banks falling into and clouding streams, or broken silt fences at construction sites).
  • Stormwater problems (Such as flooding, standing water not draining into an inlet, or over-polluted stormwater contaminating lakes or killing fish)
  • Maintenance problems (Such as a clogged drain or inlet)
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP PREVENT POLLUTION?
Reducing stormwater pollution can be as easy as making a few small changes in your lifestyle. If individual citizens all do their best to keep Purcellville’s stormwater clean, they can collectively make a big difference.

  • PROPER DISPOSAL OF HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS…
Instead of pouring unwanted household chemicals in your lawn or down a storm drain, take them to one of Loudoun County’s Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Events. Visit the HHW web page for information on what materials qualify as HHW and for a schedule of Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events (held on Saturdays from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM). For more information, call the Loudoun County Division of Waste Management at (703)777-0187.

  • GRASS, GRASS, GRASS, GRASS, GRASS…
Purcellville residents should avoid excess fertilizer or pesticide use (too much fertilizer is as bad as too little). When in doubt, remember the phrase, “Fertilize in the Fall…If at All” (more specifically, during the months of September and October). Moreover, sweep up dirt, grass clippings, and yard waste instead of washing them down your driveway into the gutter. Since grass takes a very long time to decompose, clippings clog storm drains and sewers, causing backups and flooding. Therefore, clippings should be recycled in brown-paper yard waste bags that can be found at your local hardware store or composted. Use of a mulching mower which leaves clippings on you lawn will also provide for 25% of your fertilizer needs. Directing sprinklers away from streets and sidewalks will avoid car fluids, grass clippings, and other toxic substances from washing into storm drains. Finally, choosing the right species of grass for your region and covering bare spots can decrease erosion and stormwater pollution. In Virginia Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, or a mixture of the two is optimum.

  • PROPER AUTOMOBILE CARE…
It takes just 2 or 3 quarts of oil to contaminate enough creek water to fill 4 or 5 Olympic-sized swimming pools! Therefore, it is important to repair auto leaks and not dump oil down storm drains or curb inlets. Also, citizens of Purcellville should wash their cars at a commercial carwash or in a location where soapy water WILL NOT run into a storm drain. For example, an unpaved surface should be used, such as in your yard, where soap will be naturally filtered through the grass and soil.

  • SCOOP THE POOP!…
Pet waste left on the ground (especially on streets and sidewalks) IS NOT THE SAME AS FERTILIZER! Instead, this waste is washed into storm drains and drainage ditches or soaks into the ground. From there, it flows into local waterways where bacteria, parasites, and viruses it contained breed in and contaminate the water, endangering both human and animal health. With more than ½ million dogs in Northern Virginia, a few ounces of poop per day add to more than 50 MILLION POUNDS PER YEAR!

“NO DUMPING” MARKERS
Durable, coated-plastic “No Dumping” markers can be found on all 728 developed residential and roadside curb inlets throughout Purcellville. These important markers notify the uninformed that any substance dumped down a storm drain flows, untreated, into local waterways.

To replace missing markers or help place new markers please call (540) 338-7421. This number is also open to report locations where markers have been damaged or fallen off.

NO DUMPING MARKER

MARKER PLACEMENT INSTRUCTIONS

MARKER PLACEMENT

VOLUNTEER PERMISSION SLIP

VOLUNTEER CERTIFICATE

KIDS ACTIVITIES!

“IF STORMWATER POLLUTION WAS RUBBER DUCKIES” VIDEO