Storm Drains

Not all of the water generated when it rains or snows is able to be absorbed into the ground. What is left is called stormwater. As stormwater washes over roads, yards, roofs, and parking lots, it picks up pollutants such as motor oil, pet waste, fertilizer, and litter. The stormwater then makes its way into storm drains and the city’s storm sewer system. Unlike the sanitary sewer system, the storm sewers do not transport runoff flows to a treatment plant to remove the pollutants. The stormwater is discharged directly into creeks and streams, along with the litter and pollutants it has picked up along the way. This can lower the quality of our natural waterways and make our creeks and streams unfit for swimming and fishing and for supporting aquatic life. Source

Stormwater can also pose problems with flooding. When rain falls on impervious surfaces such as roads and rooftops, it cannot infiltrate into the ground, but it does concentrate and drain downhill, and as it does, it picks up speed. Without detention basins and retention ponds to temporarily hold the fast-moving stormwater, these flows would reach our creeks and streams faster than they did prior to development, which can lead to flooding in low-lying areas. The speed of the water can also create erosion, which introduces sediment pollution in our waterways and decreases the clarity and quality of our creeks and streams.Source

Stencil Storm Drains

Stenciling storm drains educates citizens so that everyone knows that pollutants don’t belong in storm drains.  It’s also a creative way to highlight where our water goes in urban environments. Organizing a storm drain stenciling project is a great volunteer opportunity. Contact Bluegrass Greensource to schedule your next storm drain stenciling project.

If you wish to lead a stenciling project, we can provide the following supplies:

  • Nitrile gloves (1 box each of S, M, XL)
  • Light blue paint (4 cans)
  • Stencils
  • Safety goggles
  • Additional items: trash bags (1 roll), whisk broom, wire brush, dustpan, strips of cloth, and orange caution vests