# Stormwater and Wastewater Management
The Department of Public Works and Environmental Services builds and maintains safe, reliable infrastructure that improves public health and provides a high quality of life for residents. The department’s four business areas – Solid Waste Management, Capital Facilities, Wastewater Management, and Stormwater Management – work together to create and preserve sustainable communities.
Stormwater runoff is water from rain or melting snow that flows over the ground. Land in a natural condition soaks up the water. In areas with buildings, roads and parking lots, the water flows over these surfaces into storm drains. Storm drains lead to streams, not to a wastewater treatment facility. Anything that goes down a storm drain goes directly to the nearest stream. Stormwater management controls this polluted runoff by sending it through the storm drainage system and then to lakes and streams. This reduces the pollution that reaches the Chesapeake Bay and helps prevent flooding.
Wastewater Management protects the public’s health and the region’s water quality by collecting and treating wastewater (sewage). The system collects and cleans up to 161 million gallons of wastewater per day for about 340,000 residential and business connections in Fairfax County. The county’s wastewater collection and conveyance system, one of the nation’s largest sanitary sewer systems, covers nearly 234 square miles.
program_outcome: Environment Preservation
program_category: Sustainability and Environment
service: Public Works
carbon_emission_capita: 13.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) (2012)
UN_Sustainable_Development_Goals: Goal 12 Responsible Consumption and Production