If the Richland County Stormwater Management Division can relay just one important message to residents, it’s this: only rain should go down a storm drain.
In its ongoing efforts to spread this message and protect the County’s waterways, the Stormwater Management Division is seeking community volunteers to help mark stormwater drains throughout the County during National Stormwater Awareness Month in April. The round, metal markers denote that a particular drain is for rainwater only and no materials whatsoever are permitted to be dumped there.
“Many people don’t realize that when they dump materials down the storm drain they could have a negative impact on local waterways,” said Richland County Stormwater Manager Synithia Williams.
Stormwater runoff and the water flowing into storm drains are not treated. Pollutants that get inside the drains contaminate local waterways, which affects aquatic life and the ability to use the water for recreational and industrial purposes.
Picking up and properly disposing of pet waste, keeping yards free of trash and debris, not throwing cigarette butts on the ground and taking used motor oil to a recycling facility are small things residents can do every day to help keep Richland County’s creeks, lakes and rivers healthy. Residents are also encouraged to report any signs of stormwater pollution by calling 803-929-6000.
Most of the stormwater drains that need to be marked next month are in neighborhoods in northern parts of the County. In addition to adhering the markers on top of storm drains, informational door hangers will be placed on nearby homes to make neighbors aware of the dangers of polluting stormwater.
“Storm drain marking is a quick and easy way for citizens to take an active role in keeping our waterways clean,” Williams said.
To learn more about the drain marking initiative, click here to watch an instructional video. For more information about volunteering with Richland County Stormwater Management, contact Chenille Williams, Public Education and Outreach Coordinator, at email@example.com or 803-576-2491.