May 22, 2019

Volunteers Promote Water Quality, Safety in Maine

A stenciling event in Maine aims to raise awareness & remind residents not to dump down the drain

A stenciling event in Maine aims to raise awareness & remind residents not to dump down the drain

The Androscoggin Valley Stormwater Working Group is working with local volunteers in Auburn, Maine, for cleaner and safer waters. According to the Sun Journal, volunteers will gather at the Festival Plaza at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 8 to street stencil. Volunteers will also meet in Lisbon and Sabattus for a discussion on clean water and municipal storm water drainage systems.

Volunteers will  be separated into groups to conduct street stenciling in neighborhoods in nearby municipalities. According to the Sun Journal, the stencils will mark streets near municipal drainage inlets or catch basins.

The event aims to help educate the public on the stencil process and remind residents not to dump waste down the drain. According to the Sun Journal, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) estimates that 40% to 70% of rain and snow that hits the ground leaves the average residential lot as storm water runoff.

The dumping of waste into the drainage system can create more pollution and clog drainage systems, therefore creating backups and nuisance flooding. The act also is illegal and requires expensive cleaning operations. According to the Sun Journal, public engagement in pollution prevention can assist municipalities in costly clean-ups which fall on taxpayers.

The MDEP has regulated storm water discharges under the Federal Clean Water Act for the last 15 years. According to the Sun Journal, the “General Permit for the Discharge of Stormwater from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems obligates the Androscoggin Valley Stormwater Working Group to develop a storm water management program and implement a number of pollution control measures.”

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