Where Does Water Go?

April 23, 2021

More and more people are wondering where water goes when it enters our house and storm drains. Here in Monroe County, there are two separate systems that deal with our water which are the storm sewer system and the sanitary sewer system 

The storm sewer system is a system of pipes/ditches and that is not part of the sanitary sewer system that transports sewage from our homes to the water resource recovery facility to be treated. This means any water running into storm drains will be transported to the nearest waterway, and ultimately to Lake Ontario, without being treated at a sewage treatment plant.  

The City of Rochester however has a combined system in certain areas, where stormwater and sewage are transported through the same system of pipes and are treated at the Frank E Van Lare Water Resource Recovery Facility. Regardless of where you live, if you wash your car or fertilize your lawn, those chemicals will end up in Lake Ontario eventually. Remember, only rain down the drain!  

For more information on local water quality conservation visit one of our favorite local organizations, H20 Hero, website here

– Dave Will, Lead Zoo Naturalist for Citizen Science