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Storm drain project set for Saturday in city

The storm drain is intended to route rainwater quickly off the streets and parking lots, and directly to a water body during a heavy storm event. Unfortunately, undesirable materials flow along with the rainwater — automotive oil, trash, yard waste, debris and pet waste. All these pollutants are washed by rainwater from our streets, yards, driveways and parking lots into storm drain inlets. Contrary to what many people think, storm drains rarely lead to wastewater treatment plants. Storm water systems typically carry untreated water directly into Lake Erie or a tributary stream.

On Saturday, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy will be partnering with the Lake Erie Watershed Protection Alliance, Chautauqua County Lake Erie Management Commission and the city of Dunkirk to host a storm drain marking campaign project near the city’s waterfront. If interested in volunteering to help stencil storm drains on Saturday, CWC will meet at Wright Park in the City of Dunkirk at 9:30 a.m. Kits will be available for volunteers and after a demonstration, groups can spread out into the First and Second Ward Communities to stencil drains on their own.

The storm drains will be stenciled with a slogan to educate the public:

“Keep it Clean – Drains to Lake”

This message is intended to remind the public of the function of a storm drain, and where anything that is dumped eventually ends up, Lake Erie. These “drains” are not intended to dispose of pollutants such as oil, leaf litter or soapy water, as they can flow directly into our lakes and bathing beaches downstream.

Mayor Wilfred Rosas is encouraging anyone who is available and interested in being a part of this project to join the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy in this effort.

This storm drain marking project will be completed by CWC staff and volunteers. The project is meant to increase public awareness about pollution entering storm drains, which flow to our streams, lakes and beaches.

To participate in this project from 9:30 a.m. to noon, meet at Wright Park or call/email Tracy Carlson, project coordinator at 664-2166 or Tracy@chautauquawatershed.org. The project is funded by the Lake Erie Management Commission and the Lake Erie Watershed Protection Alliance, with support from Chautauqua County and the city of Dunkirk.

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