Pepperell Branch Watershed Partnership to install storm drain markers June 13

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Special to the Opelika Observer

On June 13, the Pepperell Branch Watershed Management Partnership will be installing storm drain markers throughout the city from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Volunteers from the community are welcome to join the event. Participants will meet first for instructions and supplies at Frog Pocket Park (located on the corner of S. Railroad Ave. and S. 9th Street across from the Irish Bread Pub). They will then split into teams to install the markers at multiple locations around town.

Many people think that water 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 children play, people fish,
and 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 Alabama Cooperative Extension System Nikki Dictson of the 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.”

This is part of the larger Pepperell Branch Water-shed Management Plan to reduce pollutants specific to the Pepperell Branch Watershed. The storm drain markers will be permanantly applied to concrete or asphalt throughout the watershed. There are several steps citizens can take to reduce waste in storm drains:

• Take used oil to a recycle center or a fast oil-C=change business
• Wash cars on the grass
Return old paint to the store where it was purchased
• Secure paper trash when placed on the street
• Take all old chemicals to the Opelika Recycle Center
• Do not pour fats, oils, and grease into a sink or sewer
• Do not over fertilize lawns
• 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. Questions may be directed to City of Opelika Storm Water Coordinator John Harris at 334-705-5450 or Nikki Dictson with Alabama Cooperative Extension System at 979-575-4424.

To join marker installation efforts, sign up at: http://bit.ly/PeppStormDrain.

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