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Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that doesn’t soak into the ground but runs off into waterways. It flows from rooftops, over paved areas and bare soil, and through sloped lawns while picking up a variety of materials on its way. As it flows, stormwater runoff collects and transports:
In some areas of the city, this pollutant heavy runoff is discharged untreated directly into our streams and rivers through the separate storm sewer system.
In the City of Albany, green infrastructure systems are being implemented to establish or mimic natural processes in order to slow down and capture stormwater before it has a chance to reach sewers or areas prone to flooding downstream as runoff. Visit our Green Infrastructure page to learn more about Albany’s projects.
Polluted runoff degrades our lakes, rivers, wetlands and other waterways. Transported soil clouds the waterways and interferes with the habitat of fish and plant life. Nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen can promote the overgrowth of algae, deplete oxygen in the waterway and be harmful to other aquatic life.
Toxic chemicals from automobiles, sediment from construction activities and careless application of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers threaten the health of the receiving waterway and can kill fish and other aquatic life. Bacteria from animal wastes and illicit connections to sewerage systems can make nearby lakes and bays unsafe for wading, swimming and other recreational activities.
Most pollution can be prevented before it ever enters the sewer system or the waters themselves. By taking some precautionary steps, we can do a great deal to help clean up our waterways. For helpful tips, informational brochures and more, visit the Stormwater Management page.
To view additional information on stormwater or to view any of the City of Albany’s MS4 Annual Reports, visit the Stormwater Coalition of Albany County website. Once you are on the site, select the "Stormwater Coalition" tab.
To find out more information about the City’s stormwater program or report an illegal dumping, please contact our stormwater coordinator at 518-434-5300.