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Home : News : News
NEWS | Dec. 12, 2023

Make sure only rain goes down the storm drain

802nd Civil Engineer Squadron Water Quality Team

Allowing harmful contamination to enter Joint Base San Antonio’s storm drainage system can affect your enjoyment of creeks and waterways flowing through our installations. By increasing awareness of what enters the storm drain system, it’s possible to actively protect Texas creeks and waterways from manmade pollutants.

Storm drains serve a specific purpose: to take rainwater away from roads and buildings to prevent flooding. However, their use is not as affective when trash, litter, debris, or other pollutants like chemicals and oils enter the system.

Although storm drains fulfill an important purpose, they can harm water quality when runoff such as lawn chemicals, oil, or other household chemicals like paint and soap wash directly into the stream.

JBSA directly impacts local waterways through creeks such as Leon Creek at JBSA-Lackland, Salado Creek at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, and Woman Hollering Creek at JBSA-Randolph. These three creeks come together in the San Antonio River and Guadalupe River, which eventually flows to the Gulf of Mexico.

Activities involving car maintenance and yard work have the potential for waste to flow directly into storm drains, which could impact all the waterways and ecosystems it flows through. Negative impacts of this can lead to poor water quality and fish kills.

Unlike sanitary sewer systems, storm drains do not lead to a treatment facility. The unfiltered flow can have a negative impact on water quality and create a domino effect of environmental damage.

People can lessen the impact to local waterways by properly disposing of hazardous materials, conducting timely vehicle maintenance, performing regular cleaning of pet waste, and using yard care practices that limits the use of manmade chemicals.

When using lawn chemicals, follow label instructions and always recycle used oil. Keep your driveways and paved areas clear of debris and never dispose of trash or chemicals directly into the storm drain. This will lead to safeguarding local waterways, preserving the environment, and protecting wildlife.

JBSA stands not only as a home and workplace to our people, but also as a protector of the environment. If you see something, say something!

If you become aware of any substances entering the storm drain system, such as a spill from gas pumps or sediment from a construction site, reach out to your corresponding environmental office. At JBSA-Lackland, call 210-671-4844; at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, call 210-221-1142; at JBSA-Randolph, call 210-652-4668; and at JBSA-Camp Bullis, call 210-295-8339.