ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Despite it being the driest start to monsoon season on record in Albuquerque, rain can come at any time before the season ends on Sept. 30. Last year, the National Weather Service in Albuquerque issued a record 249 flash flood warnings during the monsoon, nearly doubling the previous high. In the case that heavy rain does occur this year, there are steps residents can take to prevent stormwater pollution in the Rio Grande.

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Stormwater is water that flows across the ground when it rains. Stormwater that does not get absorbed into the ground drains into pipes and arroyos across the city and is released into the Rio Grande, according to the City of Albuquerque. Some common pollutants that are washed into the river include oil, antifreeze, detergents, and pesticides.

Other pollutants that can be picked up by stormwater include:

  • Pet waste
  • Paint
  • Solvents
  • Styrofoam
  • Plastic
  • Paper
  • Grass clippings
  • Tree trimmings
  • Leaves

These substances are often found outside homes, construction sites, and businesses. Click here for a full list of pollutants and where they can be disposed of properly.

The City of Albuquerque asks residents to clean up pollutants, dispose of them properly or limit their use of them to help keep the river clean. The city attempts to reduce trash that goes into the river by screening floating material such as plastic bottles, cups, and plastic bags before the water is discharged into the Rio Grande.

To report illegal storm drain dumping in Albuquerque call 505-768-3003 or fill out the online form.