Stormwater Pollutants2019-11-08T15:28:21+00:00

Industrial Pollutants

Removal by Product


As rain or snow falls on impervious (paved or hard) surfaces that have been impacted by industrial operations, the snow melts or rainwater becomes stormwater, picking up the pollutants and transporting them downstream. In many countries around the world, including the United States, regulations protect receiving waters from impairments caused by these pollutants.

The industrial sector and industrial NPDES stormwater permits require facility operators to utilize best management practices (BMPs) including stormwater treatment to reduce or eliminate pollutant discharges in stormwater. Isolating the various pollutants and understanding how they behave in the stormwater environment is the first step toward preventing their discharge from your site. Below is information that you might find helpful about some common industrial stormwater pollutants, how they impact the environment, and how they can be removed from stormwater.

Chemistry and characteristics of pollutants commonly found in industrial stormwater:


Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) Chemical symbol/abbreviations: COD Form commonly found in stormwater: Residual food and beverage waste from cans/bottles, antifreeze, emulsified oils. Solubility in water: [...]


Copper Chemical symbol/abbreviations: Cu, Cu2+ Form commonly found in stormwater: Particulate copper, dissolved copper as Cu2+ Adverse human impacts: Though copper is an essential nutrient, [...]


Iron Chemical symbol/abbreviations: Fe, Fe2+, Fe3+ Form commonly found in stormwater: Dissolved iron as Fe2+ (ferrous iron) and Fe3+ (ferric iron), particulate iron Adverse human [...]


Lead Chemical symbol/abbreviations: Pb, Pb2+ Adverse human impacts: Even at low levels, lead may cause a range of human health effects including learning disabilities, kidney problems and [...]


Nutrients Forms found in stormwater: Nitrogen in the form of nitrate (NO3-) nitrite (NO2-), ammonium ion ( NH4+) Phosphorus in the form of phosphate (PO43-) Solubility [...]

Oil & Grease

Oil & Grease (O&G) Chemical symbol/abbreviations: O&G, FOG (fats, oil, and grease) Form commonly found in stormwater: Motor oil, fuel Related constituents: Total petroleum hydrocarbon [...]


Pathogens Form found in stormwater: E. coli, fecal coliform, Giardia, Cryptosporidium Adverse human impacts: Cryptosporidium and Giardia cause gastrointestinal illness in humans.[i] The presence of fecal [...]


PCBs (polychlorinated biphenols) Chemical symbol/abbreviations: PCBs Solubility in water: PCBs are non-polar and are insoluble in water. PCBs are transferred into aquatic environments on the surfaces [...]


General Pesticides Form commonly found in stormwater: 2,4- Dichlorophenoxyacetic (2,4-D); glyphosate (Roundup) Solubility in water: Most pesticides are soluble in water.[i] [ii] Adverse human impacts: [...]


pH Chemical symbol/abbreviations: pH Units: Standard unit (s.u.); pH is measured on a logarithmic scale, ranging from 0 to 14 s.u., with 7 s.u. being neutral [...]


TSS or Total Suspended Solids Chemical symbol/abbreviations: TSS, suspended solids Form commonly found in stormwater: Rock and soil fragments, dirt and debris from roads and vehicles. [...]


Turbidity Form commonly found in stormwater: Rock and soil fragments, dirt and debris from roads and vehicles, oil particulates. Related constituents: Total suspended solids (TSS) – [...]