Pollution Sources

Where Does Water Pollution Come From?

Urban water pollution is carried to storm drains during rain events through stormwater runoff. Runoff from rain can occur with storms producing as little as one-tenth of an inch of rain. When this happens, anything on the ground, including litter, chemicals, sediment, lawn trimmings and pet waste can end up in storm drains, where it is then transported directly to our lakes and creeks without being sent to a treatment facility. This is why it is so important to think carefully about what we do as a community every day that can impact water quality.

  1. Litter
  2. Pet Waste
  3. Sediment
  4. Yard Waste


No One Likes Litter and It Takes a Heavy Toll On Our Environment

Let’s face it. Litter is everywhere. You see it on roadsides, in parks, in your neighborhood and maybe even your own yard. It is unsightly. It is smelly. It can attract rodents and it has a terrible impact on our environment.


Plastics make up about 80% of the pollution in our oceans. Plastic carried in stormwater from McKinney contributes to the ocean plastic problem in Galveston, Padre Island and even as far away as the Caribbean!


Why does this matter? Plastic can break down in water, but it doesn’t disappear. Tiny bits of plastic can be mistaken for food by fish, birds and other animals. It fills up their stomachs and prevents them from eating nourishing food. As a result, they can become sick and die of starvation. 


Do your part to help prevent and clean up litter by taking these simple steps:

  • If you see litter, don’t just keep walking! Pick it up!
  • Set an example to your friends, family, and neighbors by not littering.
  • Make sure any trash placed outdoors is tied or secured in bags or cans.
  • Make sure litter is placed in appropriate trash bags. Loose items can easily fall out or blow away during trash collection. Place bags in trash cans with lids.
  • Carry a litter bag in your car.
  • Want to do more to help? Participate in our annual trash clean-up event, or join our Adopt-a-Spot Program and pledge to clean up a spot that is near and dear to you four times a year.