Stormwater is generated when water flows over impervious surfaces (paved streets, parking lots, building rooftops) and does not percolate into the ground. This water can be from rainstorms, garden hoses, sprinklers, etc.
What is Stormwater Pollution?
As stormwater runoff flows over land or impervious surfaces, it accumulates pollutants such as debris, chemicals, sediment or other bacteria that can adversely affect water quality. This runoff flows through local creeks, rivers and lakes - eventually draining, untreated, into the ocean. All storm drains in the City of Kennett flow untreated to the local drainage system. Items like cigarette butts, pet waste, leaves, grass, oil, fast food wrappers, etc. belong in the trash or yard waste bin, NOT in the gutters and storm drains.
The best way to protect our waterways and keep them clean and pollution free, is by following best management practices (BMPs). In addition, most stormwater discharges are considered point source and require coverage under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
Many of our daily activities have the potential to cause stormwater pollution. Car washing detergents , lawn and garden fertilizers and pesticides, pool/spa chemicals, oil, gasoline, paint products and many more such items are potentially hazardous and/or life threatening to plant life, people and animals, and were never intended for our watersheds, and local fishing areas.
What is a Watershed?
A watershed is an area of land that collects water when it rains or snows. Through gravity, water is channeled into soils, groundwater, creeks, and lakes and drains into larger bodies of water such as rivers. Eventually, the water flows to an ocean. We all live in a watershed, and whatever we do to the land will affect water quality downstream.
Kennett is located near three watersheds – the Little River 'Floodways' Drainage System, the St. Francis River Watershed, and the Mississippi River. Both of these rivers flow into the Gulf of Mexico.
Southeast Missouri’s “Bootheel” is a natural basin for Mississippi River flooding. For much of its history the land was an uninhabitable swamp. In the early twentieth century a system of ditches, levees and canals was constructed to drain the swampy land. It was the world’s largest drainage project, and by its completion had moved more earth than the construction of the Panama Canal. The Little River Drainage District was constructed between 1914 and 1928. It consists of 957.8 miles of ditches and 304.43 miles of levees. It covers 540,000 acres and drains a total of 1.2 million acres. The land that makes up the Little River Drainage District was granted to Missouri in the Swamp Land Act of 1850. In the late 19th century, the land was purchased by private lumber interests and cleared of its abundant timber. A new solution was sought to make better use of this uninhabitable and unproductive land. In 1907, a meeting in Cape Girardeau laid the groundwork for a massive drainage project. The construction was funded by a tax levied on land owners within the district. The headwater diversion channel system was built by electric and steam draglines and directs runoff in the northern portion of the district, while the main lower district- a system of levees and ditches built with floating dredge boats- provides local drainage and serves as a drainage outlet for the wider District. Since 1931, the headwater diversion channel mainline levee has been maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers