Stormwater runoff occurs when rain or snowmelt flows over the ground on its way to storm drains, drainage ways, creeks and lakes. Stormwater picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, pet wastes and other pollutants, and it deposits them in water used for swimming, fishing and drinking.
Remember, runoff from a rain storm or snow melt is not treated at a wastewater treatment facility, so extra effort is needed by everyone! We all live and work in a watershed. Once a single drop of rain reaches the earth, its eventual journey is determined by the watershed in which it lands. (A watershed is defined as the geographic region within which water drains into a particular river, stream or body of water.)
No matter where you are in a watershed, what you do affects the entire water system. Collectively, our behaviors can have a profound influence on water quality. Educating people about their role in influencing water quality on a neighborhood watershed scale is of prime importance. Much needs to be learned about the best ways to control pollution sources, how to promote stewardship in neighborhoods, and how to adopt better water quality stewardship practices at home and at work.
The watershed that all the streams, creeks and rivers drain to in the Denver Metro area is the South Platte watershed. The Town of Columbine Valley is in the Chatfield Basin. Because of its beautiful scenery, trails and convenient location, more than 3 million people annually visit the 42,000 acres now protected for conservation and recreation within Chatfield Basin. Plum Creek flows through a part of Chatfield Basin. Chatfield Watershed consists of all portions of Plum Creek and its tributaries along with the South Platte River downstream of Strontia Springs Reservoir outfall.