Good Stormwater Management, Like Good Schools, Is A Community Effort

July 31, 2014
Jim Caldwell
Stormwater in Schools

Here in Howard County we have a great school sys­tem, well funded and rec­og­nized as one of the best in the coun­try. Peo­ple set­tle here because of the qual­ity of our schools. Long ago as a com­mu­nity we com­mit­ted to pay for good schools. We spend more than half of every tax dol­lar to fund our schools and as a result our chil­dren ben­e­fit from a first rate edu­ca­tion. We all pay for our edu­ca­tion sys­tem whether we have kids or not, whether they are of school age or not. Why? — Because we value edu­ca­tion as a key aspect of our qual­ity of life.

As a county and state, we also show a strong alle­giance to the Chesa­peake Bay. In sur­vey after sur­vey we con­sider it a key aspect of our qual­ity of life and sup­port bay pro­tec­tion pro­grams. The real­ity is that we have not been good envi­ron­men­tal stew­ards over the last 200 years and we now need to pay to repair or improve the man­ner in which we treat stormwa­ter, to min­i­mize the effect on our local streams and the Bay. Unfor­tu­nately the funds avail­able through exist­ing sources have been allo­cated else­where and there is not enough left to address this for­got­ten utility.

Stormwa­ter pol­lu­tion is the largest grow­ing source of con­t­a­m­i­na­tion to our local streams and the Bay. The runoff from our rooftops, dri­ve­ways, park­ing lots, and road­ways is the source of the prob­lem. Yes, we could nit­pick about who has a larger role in the prob­lem but the real­ity is that we all con­tribute and just like edu­ca­tion, we all need to be will­ing to pay an equi­table amount for the ben­e­fit of the com­mu­nity and envi­ron­ment we all share.

For the lat­est Howard County stormwa­ter infor­ma­tion, please visit

Jim Cald­well
Stormwa­ter Manager