Saturday, February 7, 2015

Survey your sins

Posted By on Sat, Feb 7, 2015 at 9:11 AM

click to enlarge Storm drain badness - PHOTO BY HEIDI WALTERS
  • Photo by Heidi Walters
  • Storm drain badness
Ah, the magical storm drain. Alligators live down there, we know, and escapees, and gourmand rats — fantastical beings swimming around in lurksome joy. Plus, of course, all that junk you’ve let wash into it, too: pet poop, cigarette butts, wrappers, caps, oil, chemicals and other detritus that drifts from fingers, drips off cars and oozes from properties.

Down the drain (or into a creek). And then magically washed to sea, right? Yes, to sea, but there’s nothing magic about that part of the journey. Once rain — or your chemically enhanced landscape watering overflow — washes the junk down the drain, that watery mix is not treated. So it pollutes our bay and ocean.

Well, the North Coast Storm Water Coalition hopes to learn more about people’s knowledge of storm drains and urban runoff and such in order to better educate them about the issues and perhaps turn around some of their deleterious habits.

Which is all to say there’s a new survey! Take it. It’s fun. There might be underwater dragons. To take the survey online, start here. To do the deed on paper, pick up a copy of the survey at your local city or county office (call first to make sure they’re ready for you).

Also, if you see stuff other than rain washing into the drain (or a creek!), report it on the stormwater hotline: 1-877-NCSC-001.

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Heidi Walters

Heidi Walters worked as a staff writer at the North Coast Journal from 2005 to 2015.

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