Watch out for groups of kids and adults roaming the Depot District with paint brushes on May 13, 2017. No; they are not graffiti artists, they are the winners of the City of Muskogee Storm Drain Art Project!
The artists submitted original artwork relating to water quality and a panel of judges selected the most inspiring art. The art will be painted on the storm drains in an effort to help educate the public about the City of Muskogee’s Stormwater Program. The storm drain art project is one of many activities aimed at preventing trash, pet waste, and household chemicals from entering into the Arkansas River, an important local economic resource.
Rain washes down streets and parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks, roofs and yards, carrying water into the storm drains. Storm drains are the entry point into the storm sewer system which eventually discharges stormwater directly to local streams without treatment.
The Storm Drain Art Project is part of a larger stormwater management program that strives to keep local streams, river, lakes and/or watersheds free of trash, dirt, and chemicals, such as used motor oil. The City of Muskogee promotes smart practices such as picking up pet wastes, and properly disposing of household chemicals, paints, and cleaning supplies. Also, sweeping driveways and sidewalks instead of hosing them and washing cars at car wash facilities or on lawns rather than driveways, are other ways to prevent storm water contamination.
Through the Annual Storm Drain Art Contest, the City of Muskogee hopes to increase residents’ awareness about the connection between the streets, yards, storm drains, and the storm sewer system.
“Most people do not understand that storm drains are the entry point into the storm sewer system, and that stormwater runoff leaving the system does not get treated first, as does the sanitary wastewater,” commented Abby Wright, Assistant Environmental Technician for the City of Muskogee. There are things everyone can do to reduce the amount of trash, debris, pet wastes, and chemicals carried by stormwater. The most basic way to help is to never dump anything you wouldn’t drink or swim in down a storm drain.
For more information on the Annual Storm Drain Art Contest and stormwater related questions, contact Karen Coker, Storm Water Quality Technician, City of Muskogee, 918-684-6340.