Streamkeepers Program-Module 5
Storm Drain Marking
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In urban areas, storm drains along paved streets and parking lots collect rain and snowmelt water. Paved surfaces prevent rainfall from filtering through the soil naturally, so water runs off quickly into storm drains. The runoff picks up contaminants along the way. Floods and droughts are frequent in watersheds where buildings and paved surfaces cover much of the land.
Storm drains empty into an underground collection system that discharges untreated water into a nearby stream. Runoff does not go into the domestic sewage system. People who do not realize this often dump oil, swimming pool water, and toxic household or industrial compounds into storm drains. Road runoff contains sediment, animal waste, oil, and particles from car exhaust. All these substances flow into the nearest stream and harm fish, wildlife, and plants.
Storm drain marking is an excellent way to raise community awareness about stream health. It involves children, leaves a semi-permanent reminder on the street, and distributes information in neighbourhoods close to streams.