What is polluted runoff?
When precipitation flows along the ground, it picks up many substances in its path: sediment, chemicals, litter. This is stormwater runoff. The contents of runoff when it reaches the river depends on what lies in its path. A hard, impervious surface like asphalt will quickly transport stormwater to a river, adding oil from cars, pesticides from gardens and litter from the gutters. Heavy storms also erode stream banks, washing sediments into the river and clouding the water column. Nearly one quarter of the Anacostia Watershed is impervious surface, so stormwater runoff is a major problem.
What does Anacostia Riverkeeper do to help?
With support from the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment and the Chesapeake Bay Trust., we install rain barrels and rain gardens at places of worship and low income community housing to capture and reuse rainwater.