On Saturday October 23, Boy Scout Troop 323 spent their Saturday spray painting storm drains around Cedar Lake.
Armed with stencils, construction vests, and a couple cans of white spray paint, the Troop went around to every storm drain that drains to Cedar Lake and marked each spot with a message: "DUMP NO WASTE. DRAINS TO LAKE". This message encourages people who see it to think twice about what might be going through their storm drains.
Storm drains are an everyday sight along public and private roads, parking lots, and sidewalks. But do you know what happens to the water and debris that falls down your nearby drain? Water that flows from the street into a drain goes directly into a local water source. It does not go through any kind of filtration system like the water in our house does. So, anything that makes its way down the drain will eventually make its way to a local lake or river.
What CAN NOT go into storm drains?
Trash. Seems obvious, but storm drains are not trash bins. The litter and trash on the streets that flow into drains will slide directly into nearby lakes and rivers. Just one more reason to keep our streets clean!
Pet waste. When you don't pick up your pet's waste on your daily walk, the contaminants from it will flow down the street when it rains. All that runoff flows right into the lakes and rivers, introducing harmful bacteria and contaminants. Pick up pet waste to keep our streets and water bodies clean!
Grass clippings and leaves. This one might be surprising. Leaves and grass are natural, right? Yes, but they have a tendency to clog up drains faster then a drains capacity to handle them. The result can be one of two things. One: The drain is blocked by the debris and water cant flow down it. Two: The leaves and grass that do make their way down the drain pile into the lake and add excess nutrients as the water breaks them down. Rake up your leaves and bag up your grass!
What CAN go into storm drains?
The rainfall that storm drains collect also comes in the form of snow. Ice is a real concern in the winter months, and keeping storm drains free of debris leaves room for snow to melt through them properly. This reduces the risk of icy roads and sidewalks.
The efforts of Boy Scout Troop 323 will help protect Cedar Lake from pollution and trash, Thanks for your help boys!
If you're interested in renting the SWCD's storm drain stenciling kit, let us know! Contact our office for availability. Our kit is a great way for kids to get outside and get connected to conservation.