Stormwater Terminology

What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is rainwater that washes through our property and streets, taking with it any debris that may be in its path.  This mixture of rain, debris, oil and waste is known as "runoff". 

What is a Watershed?
A watershed is the area of land that drains to a common waterway, such as a stream, lake, estuary, wetland, aquifer, or even the ocean. Further information can be found at the EPA website on watersheds.

What is a Floodplain?
A floodplain is any area that can be expected to flood occasionally. It is the lowland adjacent to a ditch, river, creek, stream or lake. With very few exceptions, almost all areas of the United States are subject to some kind of flooding when the right set of circumstances occurs. However, the risk of flooding varies from place to place. See the picture below to better visualize a floodplain.

What is a Floodway?
Floodway includes the channel of a river or stream and area adjacent to the channel that will
carry moving water during times of flood. This is a high hazard portion of the floodplain. The
floodway is that portion of the floodplain that we see on television where the houses have been
swept off their foundation. In addition to being a hazard to residents, the floodway also presents
a hazard to rescue personnel. See the picture below to better visualize a floodway.