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City of Talent Oregon / Public Works / Stormwater / Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is stormwater runoff?
Stormwater runoff is precipitation or meltwater that flows over the surface of the ground. Impervious surfaces such as: rooftops, roadways, sidewalks and unvegetated soil surfaces all create prime conditions for runoff events.
Where does our stormwater runoff go?
Locally, precipitation drains into a basin known as the Bear Creek watershed. It is comprised of many small tributaries, such as Anderson and Wagner Creek. The stormwater runoff from the City’s storm drains also flows into the Bear Creek watershed. Eventually, stormwater runoff from our watershed flows into the Rogue River which empties into the Pacific Ocean.
Bear Creek Watershed Map
A map of the Bear Creek Watershed, including subwatersheds. Talent is drained by the Wagner and Jeffery subwatersheds. Image courtesy of Rogue Valley Council of Governments. Click to enlarge.
Does our storm drain system treat/purify runoff?
No, runoff enters local waterbodies completely untreated; our City’s storm sewer system merely directs this water to nearby creeks.
What is stormwater pollution?
Simply put, stormwater pollution is anything entering a storm drain that isn’t rainwater. Common pollutants found in stormwater include: leaves, garbage, animal waste and the pathogens therein, sediment, vehicle residuals, excess nutrients from fertilizers, household hazardous wastes, etc. Click here for more information.
Why should I care about stormwater pollution?
Many of the pollutants entering our streams are toxic to humans, our pets and aquatic wildlife. Stormwater pollution increases the cost of potable water treatment and infrastructure maintenance, degrades fish stocks, and reduces the recreational and tourism value of our scenic waterways.
How can I help prevent stormwater pollution?
Keeping storm drains clear is very important; seasonally checking nearby storm drains and clearing away debris such as leaves and pine needles can save property owners from experiencing costly flood damage. It is also critically important that any storm drain dumping is reported so that it can be cleaned up immediately. To report a spill, or blockage in the stormwater system, click here.