Down the Drain
Have you ever noticed the gratings in streets and roadways? These are storm drains or catch basins. They collect rain and melted snow that drain off roads, parking lots, and driveways.
Storm drains empty into underground storm-sewer systems. Some of the sewers are routed to sewage treatment plants. Others pour directly into nearby streams and rivers where wildlife live.
Many people don't realize this. They dump oils, detergents, paints, solvents, pesticides, and other household products into storm drains. They may be committing a crime! In some areas it is illegal to dump toxic substances into fish-bearing waters.
In some neighbourhoods, concerned citizens are painting a yellow fish symbol beside storm drains that discharge into local waterways. This symbol reminds people that toxins can kill fish and other wildlife.
Does your city have storm drains? Do you know where they empty? Do the contents pass through a treatment plant before pouring into a watery wildlife habitat? If not, ask your municipal council and the appropriate government agencies why not.
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