Our Storm Drain Education Program
Our Keep it Superior Storm Drain Education Program is designed to educate the public about the impacts of pollution entering urban storm drains. In our community, most of the water that runs off our streets and sidewalks goes into a storm drain, which eventually enters directly into our local rivers, streams, and lakes. This run-off is often contaminated with:
- Litter waste
- Chemical pollutants
- Salts & oils
- Pet waste
This storm drain pollution not only harms the health of natural resources, fish, and wildlife but our own. This can happen through a process called bioaccumulation, where toxins accumulate in the food chain and eventually become consumed through food or water.
Canada & Household Hazardous Waste
Did you know that Canadian households generate more than 60,000 tonnes of hazardous waste every year? Specifically, items such as toxic single-use plastics, old car batteries, lighter fluid, turpentine, paint, gasoline, used motor oil, antifreeze, pool chemicals, and pesticides are often used and then disposed of improperly, eventually harming our aquatic ecosystems. Other pollutants that commonly end up in the water system include:
Soap and fertilizer
In high concentrations, these materials can have a highly negative impact on our aquatic ecosystems, which we all depend on for survival.
Where Does This Water Pollution Come From?
Water pollution stems from several different sources, including recreational, residential, industrial, and agricultural origins. Since approximately 70% of all city lands are paved, only half of the precipitation that falls touches the soil. The other half picks up the thousands of pounds of debris, waste, and chemicals along their path of flow. Unfortunately, these items eventually find their way into a storm drain system- causing water pollution.
How You Can Help
Want to help protect our local water quality from the impacts of contaminated runoff? Follow these quick & easy tips!
- Avoid pouring toxic items down your drain at home or municipal storm drain
- Install a rain barrel under your downspout to conserve & reduce water run-off
- Buy low-waste, plastic-free items to divert toxic single-use plastics from entering our ecosystems
- Pick up plastic waste and microplastic ‘nurdles’ when you see them
- Add a rain garden to your at-home landscape to filter precipitation
- Add more permeable surfaces in your yard to soak up the water, like gardens, lawns, and shrubs
- Pick up pet waste regularly
- Choose a commercial car wash over washing in your driveway! Commercial car wash water goes through the sewer system and is treated before it is discharged back into the ecosystem
- Maintain your vehicle and fix leaks promptly
- Avoid using salt or chemical ice-melters
Take Even More Action:
Adopting a Storm Drain in your neighbourhood can not only help keep our aquatic ecosystems clear of leaves, trash, and other toxic debris but protect your neighbourhood from excess stormwater flooding during storm seasons!
Learn more about this program by watching the Adopt a Storm Drain EcoTip.
The City of Thunder Bay has 14,000 drains available for adoption. To view and adopt available drains, click here.
For more information on adopting a storm drain, please email email@example.com or call 807-624-2658. This program is funded by the City of Thunder Bay and delivered by EcoSuperior.