Stormwater vs. Sanitary Sewer

The stormwater system is completely separate from the sanitary sewer system. The City and County of Denver maintains many stormwater management facilities such as retention ponds, grassy swales and other kinds of buffers that help naturally filter out pollutants before they hit the waterways. While these natural processes can take a lot of the pollutants out, because stormwater isn't processed and treated like sewage, it's easier for pollutants in stormwater runoff to end up in our waterways.

That's why it's important for every Denver resident to help try to reduce the pollutants before they reach the stormwater system.


Quick tips 

  • Wash your car at a car wash or on your lawn, not in the street or on your driveway. Soap residue can lead to algae blooms in waterways.
  • Keep your car tuned to prevent gas and oil from ending up on our streets.
  • Try to collect any litter you see in streets or parking lots, and pick up after your pet to keep bacteria and nutrients from the waterways.
  • Use fertilizer sparingly and appropriately, and never fertilize before a rainstorm.
  • Cover any loose dirt when doing home improvements and try to berm construction areas to keep sediment from washing into the storm drain system (which can cause flooding and endanger aquatic wildlife).