After rain falls to the ground, one of three things can happen:
the water soaks into the ground (becoming groundwater);
it evaporates into the air; or
it runs off (becoming stormwater), eventually reaching a stream, river, or lake.
As an area becomes more developed with roads, buildings, driveways, decks, and parking lots, more water runs into nearby streams and lakes and less is absorbed into the ground.
When the runoff from these surfaces enters a stream, it brings with it sand, dirt, salt, metals, fertilizer, and other pollutants, and raises the stream's temperature. This harms the health of the stream.
Bangor is fortunate to have a number of streams within it. The Kenduskeag Stream and others contribute to the beauty, environmental health, and quality of life of the City. Like many other urban streams in Maine, though, several of these streams do not meet water quality standards set and enforced by the state and federal governments. As a result, the City needs to take a number of actions to improve the health of the streams, including building stormwater management structures, preventing improper discharges, and educating property owners about pollution prevention.
In order to help pay for these actions, the City is creating a stormwater utility. For more information about the utility, click here or watch the video below.