Storm water pollution is a continuing problem throughout the United States even in our arid part of Arizona. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 40% of surveyed U.S. surface water does not meet water quality standards. Pollution from storm water runoff is believed to be one of the lead sources of contamination.

Stormwater runoff in Apache Junction is just as significant as in any city within the U.S., if not more so, because of how little rain we get. Low amounts of precipitation results in higher concentrations of pollutants during each rain event as compared to cities in less arid regions.

When rain events occur in Apache Junction, pollutants are transported primarily through street gutters, culverts, and open channels to our community retention basins, community green spaces, city parks, and washes.

Because stormwater flows are not treated, pollutant contamination buildup occurs and ultimately re-enters the water supply through groundwater recharge. Stormwater pollutants also aid in the spread of viruses and diseases by providing places for mosquitoes and other nuisance insects and toxic algae growth to occur.

To reduce the number of pollutants going into washes, streams, and rivers, the federal government requires many cities to comply with the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program.  In Arizona, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is responsible for overseeing stormwater permits and compliance activities. To meet the requirements of the municipal stormwater permit, the City developed a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP), which describes how the City will aim to reduce polluted runoff from its stormwater system. In addition to keeping the SWMP up-to-date, the City prepares a Stormwater Annual Report each year describing the steps taken during the prior year.  

Your comments on the SWMP, Annual Report, or other elements of the City’s stormwater quality program are welcome. Please get in touch with us at stormwater@apachejunctionaz.gov.

Storm Water Pollution Types




Organic and inorganic materials such as leaves, grass clippings and dirt sediment.Detergents, engine coolant, engine oil, grease, fertilizer and paint.Any trash, including plastic bags and bottles, cigarette butts etc.




Decaying vegetation and sediments transport heavy metals and phosphorous compounds that can become toxic and harm water quality. Sedimentation also fills waterways resulting in more severe flooding over time. One gallon of oil can contaminate one million gallons of drinking water; or just one quart can contaminate 250,000 gallons of water.Litter produces an obvious visual pollution which can physically damage animals and natural vegetation and can release substances poisonous to natural systems when it breaks down. Stormwater drains in Apache Junction do not filter polluntants including trash. 




  • Construction sites 
  • Eroded areas 
  • Poor handling or dumping of grass / leaves 
  • Animals feces / waste 
  • Fetilizers from irrigated lawns 
  • Leaky vehicles and equipment 
  • Poor handling or dumping of oil or grease 
  • Industrial areas 
  • Car washing 
  • Littering 
  • Illegal dumping 
  • Packaging styrofoam 
  • Bags 
  • Tires 

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