On Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, beginning at 8 a.m., the Pepperell Branch Watershed Management Partnership will be installing storm drain markers around town. This is part of the larger Pepperell Branch Watershed Management Plan to reduce pollutants specific to Pepperell Branch Watershed.
Storm drain destinations are commonly misdiagnosed by the public. Many think that anything that enters into a storm drain is treated by the local wastewater treatment plant. However, these conveyances typically empty into the varying streams that surround our town. Streams where our children play, people fish, and our ecosystems work to thrive. Improper disposal of pollutants such as antifreeze, pesticides, paints, oils, and other pollutants can cause serious damage to the water quality and the environment where we live.
“By installing these storm drain markers, we hope to educate and inform citizens about reducing water pollution in Opelika,” said Nikki Dictson of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and lead for the Pepperell Branch Watershed Management Plan. “When pollutants are put into a storm drain, it contaminates our streams, creeks and rivers. It’s important for us to protect Alabama’s water resources.”
The storm drain markers will be permanantly applied to concrete or asphalt throughout the watershed. The team will be working in the following zones: North Rocky Brook residential, Carver/Monroe residential, Downtown Opelika, Pepperell Village and Justice Center/Century Boulevard/Hamilton Place.
There are several steps citizens can take to reduce waste in storm drains:
Take used oil to a recycle center or a fast Oil-Change business
Wash your car on the grass
Return old paint to the store where you purchased it
Secure your paper trash when placed on the street
Take all old chemicals to the Opelika Recycle Center
Do not pour fats, oils, and grease into your sink or sewer
Do not over fertilize your lawn
Pick up pet waste
Throw cigarette butts in trash
For more information, visit www.opelika-al.gov (Storm Water Management). Citizens can report an issue on the website as well. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact John Harris, City of Opelika Storm Water Coordinator at 334-705-5450 or Nikki Dictson with Alabama Cooperative Extension System at 979-575-4424.
This project is funded by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management through a Clean Water Act Section 319(h) nonpoint source grant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4.