A Binghamton-based coalition is working to keep contaminants out of the storm sewer system to reduce pollution of rivers and drinking water.

The Broome-Tioga Stormwater Coalition has a mission of trying educate people about the risks posed by illegally dumping into storm drains along streets and roadways.

According to the organization, stormwater is rain and snow melt that runs off surfaces such as rooftops, paved streets, highways and parking lots.

Excess paint sometime is dumped down storm drains in Binghamton despite warnings that it will wind up in the river. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Excess paint sometimes is dumped down storm drains in Binghamton despite warnings that it will wind up in the river. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Stormwater can carry a wide variety of contaminants into drains that ultimately lead directly to the Susquehanna River. That means pollutants in runoff ultimately can result in contaminated drinking water.

The coalition has reported progress is being made in public education and getting more people involved in addressing the issue. Steps also are being made to detect illicit discharges and to control runoff from construction sites.

Stormwater in downtown Binghamton during a heavy downpour on May 16, 2022. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Stormwater in downtown Binghamton during a heavy downpour on May 16, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Broome and Tioga county residents are encouraged to protect water quality by cleaning up after their pets, preventing oil leaks from vehicles and properly disposing of trash.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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