No Dumping signs are appearing on storm drains throughout South Carolina’s Lexington and Richland Counties. The markings are part of an effort to raise awareness and help deter residents from pouring harmful substances into drains that empty into local creeks and rivers. According to Srinivas Valavala, Richland county storm-water manager, about 25% of the 7,500 drains in that county have been marked so far. The signs aim to inform people that dumping substances such as liter, paint, engine oil, grease or polluted water into the drains is an illegal act.
The signs come as part of an action to prevent water contamination after state environmental officials cited Richland County in 2006 for unsuccessful monitoring of water pollution. In both Lexington and Richland Counties, at least a dozen streams and rivers, including sections of the Broad River and Twelve Mile Creek, continually fail to meet the state standards for clean water.
Everyone can make a difference when it comes to preventing water pollution. Some of the simple steps we can take include sweeping yard clippings and debris out of the street, maintaining septic tanks properly, correctly disposing of toxic cleaners and paints, and more importantly, purchasing less toxic cleaners and other substances. For more information on how you can help prevent water runoff pollution visit the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.