Stormdrains in Downtown Waynesville Get Color And Send a Message

By William M Eaker | Jul 05, 2013
Photo by: Christine O'Brien, Haywood Waterways Association Members of the Collierville United Methodist Church uncovering their first stormdrain stencil.

Eight members of the Collierville United Methodist Church from Collierville, Tennessee came to Waynesville as part of the Youth In Missions Program at Lake Junaluska. During their stay the group ventured to downtown Waynesville where, with the help of Haywood Waterways Association, they marked twenty-eight stormdrains with “Don’t Dump Drains To Pigeon River.” The stencils help raise awareness that anything entering a stormdrain in downtown Waynesville makes its way to Richland Creek, then the Pigeon River, and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. Haywood County is unique in that all the water found here originates here, which makes Haywood County the headwaters of the Gulf and gives its residents ultimate responsibility for water quality.

When it rains, the stormwater washing over parking lots and other hard surfaces picks up trash, oil, gasoline, fertilizer, herbicides, pet feces, bacteria, viruses and other toxic chemicals and sends them straight into stormdrains. Once in the stormdrain the water goes untreated to the nearest waterway where it can harm aquatic life, be hazardous to human and livestock health, and diminish the aesthetic value of streams. One way Haywood County residents can help is to keep potentially pollutants away from stormdrains. Here are a few tips; if you own a vehicle be sure it isn’t leaking oil or gas; when adding fertilizer or herbicide to your grass or garden be sure you apply as directed on the bag and avoid applying before a heavy rain; pick up after your pet when walking; and throw your trash in a trash can, not on the ground or in a parking lot. These are very simple ways to help keep our streams healthy and safe for all to enjoy. If you would like more information on how to maintain a safe backyard send an email to info@haywoodwaterways or call 476-4667.