Let’s say there’s a Saturday afternoon thunderstorm rolling over Adams County. It’s pouring rain as it goes, rain that helps our plants grow, and fills our rain barrels, but also ruins picnics, soaks towels on laundry lines, and most importantly for our purposes here, runs off driveways and parking lots and road surfaces, swelling streams, and flooding storm drains.
We know that about half of Pennsylvania’s average 40-some inches of precipitation each year is taken up by plants, absorbed into the soil, or evaporated by the sun. This water actually stays relatively clean. The rainwater that’s absorbed into the ground is filtered by the soil and plant roots on its way into our groundwater and from there into our wells, streams, water treatment plants, and kitchen faucets.