Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Storm Drain Art Brings Awareness To Stormwater Pollution In The City Of York

By Jodi Sulpizio, Master Watershed Steward Coordinator, York County

If you get a chance to stroll through downtown York over the next several months, be sure to look for “splashes” of art painted around storm drains. 

Over the past three years, the Street 2 Creek Partnership, a collaboration of Master Watershed Stewards, the City of York, the Watershed Alliance of York, and the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, rallied local artists to paint a total of fourteen storm drains in downtown York. 

This fall, three storm drains were painted at Continental Square and on East King Street at the York City Fire Station. 

As you meander along the streets, you may come upon a tangle of octopus legs reaching out of a drain, an elegant egret keeping watch over a drain, or a myriad of sea creatures surrounding another. 

Each unique drain spreads a message to the community, "Please keep our streets and waterways clean. We all live downstream!"

Storm drains are part of stormwater conveyance systems designed to drain stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as roads and sidewalks. As stormwater flows across the land, it picks up pollutants such as oil, road salts, chemicals, grass clippings, soil, trash, pet waste, and more. 

Stormwater pollution has a significant impact on water quality. It is a common misconception that stormwater runoff from streets, parking lots, and driveways flows to a treatment plant before it is released into the environment. 

The reality is stormwater and the pollution it carries flows directly or indirectly to local creeks, streams, and rivers untreated. It is important that citizens know that everyday activities can be contributing to stormwater pollution. 

This project brings awareness to this important issue. Small steps such as limiting fertilizer use, using a rain barrel, planting a rain garden, maintaining automobiles to prevent leaks, properly securing trash, picking up pet waste, etc. can help protect local streams and rivers.

To learn more about stormwater management, visit Penn State Extension Stormwater Management website. For more information, visit the Street 2 Creek Project website. 

This project was funded by York Water Company and the Sandy Hollow Arts and Recreation for the Environment.

(Photo: Local artist, Jessica Pedro-Pascual paints a storm drain at the Continental Square in the City of York.)

[How Clean Is Your Stream?

[DEP’s Interactive Report Viewer allows you to zoom in on your own stream or watershed to find out how clean your stream is or if it has impaired water quality using the latest information in the draft 2020 Water Quality Report.]

-- Master Watershed Steward Program Invites You To Support A Local Watershed Steward Now And During Dec. 1 Giving Tuesday

(Reprinted from the Nov. 24 Penn State Extension Watershed Winds newsletter.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)

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[Posted: November 24, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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