Nowadays many forms of pollution that used to be caused by factories and mines have been cleaned up and/or are heavily regulated to prevent pollution. But there is still a lot of pollution reaching the river. How is it getting there? Pollutants reach the river thru the underground storm sewer system when it rains. Most of Brighton's ground is covered by buildings, roads and parking lots, with not enough unpaved soil to soak up the rainwater. Rainwater flows from our roofs, driveways, and roads into the storm sewer drains picking up pollutants along the way. This pollution is referred to as non-point source pollution. Examples of non-point source pollution include excess fertilizer and pesticides from landscapes, car oil and grease from pavement, sediment from construction sites, and bacteria and nutrients from pet and livestock waste.
The drainage system is designed to prevent our streets and homes from flooding. The storm sewer drains slope downhill and all eventually empty directly into local ponds, lakes or South Platte River.
This is why it is important to understand that there are two separate underground collection systems in Brighton: sanitary sewer and storm sewer drains. While the sanitary sewer system conveys household wastewater into a sewage treatment plant, the storm drain system conveys rainwater runoff discharging directly into our local ponds and rivers. Unfortunately, the storm sewer system also picks up urban pollution found on its way, affecting the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and our potential drinking water source. By using simple, practical housekeeping practices around your work and home, residents, business owners and farmers can help minimize non-point source pollution.