Stormwater Pollution & Treatment

Importance of Stormwater Care

Pollution from stormwater runoff is a major concern, especially in urban and sub-urban areas. Rainwater washing across streets and sidewalks can pick up spilled oil, detergents, solvents, de-icing salt, pesticides, fertilizer, and bacteria from pet waste.


Aspen’s stormwater drains do not channel water to a treatment facility. Though a good majority the urban core is carried to the Jennie Adair wetlands, a bio-engineered detention area, before making its way to the Roaring Fork River, the remainder of the city’s runoff flows directly into the Roaring fork river, Hallam lake, and other neighboring waterbodies within the city limits.

Surface Pollutants & Runoff

Most surface pollutants are collected during the first one-quarter inch of rainfall or "first-flush" in any storm or snowmelt event. This is the period when the majority of pathogens, sediment, waste, and debris are picked up by flow across lawns and roadways. The runoff is then carried untreated into waterways, these materials become "non-point source pollutants" which can increase algae content, reduce aquatic life, and require additional costly treatment to make the water potable for downstream water systems.


It becomes every citizen, developer, small business owner, and vacationer’s duty to minimize their pollutant impact within Aspen as well as all over the world. This page provides information for said parties to mitigate stormwater impact through various methods.