Those Drains Are Only For Rain – No Dumping
No doubt you see them every day in Davidson – those big metal grates along the curbs and gutters of our roadways. Others are located in the middle of neighborhood byways and alleys.
But, unlike some communities, there is an important difference with the storm water drains in Mecklenburg County in general, and Davidson in particular. These storm drains divert water to open water catchments, or sometimes directly to our streams and creeks.
That’s right, there isn’t a local water treatment plant that magically cleans what is dumped down those drains. All too often people send detergents and cleaners down these drains when they wash cars, boats, or other vehicles. Worse yet, some neighbors send debris down the drains when they wash down driveways and patios.
According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Stormwater Services web site, “a 2015 Charlotte-Mecklenburg public opinion survey, approximately 36% of respondents think stormwater is treated and cleaned before it reaches a stream or lake. The truth is that stormwater and stormwater pollution throughout Charlotte and Mecklenburg County drains directly to streams and lakes. The cleaner we keep stormwater, the cleaner our streams and lakes will be.”
Take a close look when you walk through your neighborhood. More recent developments likely have retention ponds where you will see the storm water line outflow pipes. And when you find those ponds, you will find all of the stuff that wasn’t water that went down a storm water drain near you.
Some storm water drains in Davidson still have a small marker that says: “This Drain is Only for Rain.” Most of the markers were placed on drains more than five years ago, and many have broken off or the message is no longer visible. The good news is that there is a new effort to replace those markers on the storm drains in Davidson.
So the next time you consider washing anything down the storm water drains – think again! Instead, please do your part to help protect streams and lakes by educating your family and neighbors about these direct connections to our streams and lakes.