Louisiana Storm Drain Stencil Program:
Save our Lakes, Our Bayous, Our Rivers!
Paint A Drain!
A sad story about Louisiana Waters...
Toxic chemicals, like motor oil and household cleaning products, wash directly from storm drains, untreated, into lakes, bayous and rivers. Toxic chemicals are harmful to fish, fish eggs, and other wildlife living in and around the lake or bayou. Raccoons, deer, birds and other wildlife that drink the water or eat contaminated fish or other aquatic animals may also become sick. Eventually, humans eat the contaminated animals and fish. Sometimes whole communities draw their drinking water from the contaminated lakes and rivers. It's a sad story, all because people used their strom drian as a dump for garbage and wastes, instead of for the intended purpose of collecting rain water. Some people believe that they can dump motor oil, soap suds, household cleaners, paints, antifreeze, pesticides and other hazardous wastes into their strom drains and these wastes will be carried to a sewage treatment facility. And that's bad. Bet we can stop dumping in our strom drains by joining.
Reggie Coleman at 225.219.3595 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Non-Point Source Program/Storm Drain Stenciling
Office of Environmental Assessment
Department of Environmental Quality
Post Office Box 4314
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821-4314
Who is painting drains?
Community groups, boy scouts, girl scouts, school groups, paretns clubs, garden clubs, environmental groups, civic organizations, men and women, boys and girls, young and old, kids with class projects, adults providing community service.
How easy is getting permission?
1. Once you have mailed in a volunteer form to DEQ, you will be notified about who to contact in your area for permission to stencil drains.
2. If you are painting drains along public thoroughfares, usually you will be directed to call your city or parish Public Works Department. Ask for the drain utility or road maintenance division.
3. You will then get a letter of approval from the public works department.
4. If the drains are located on private property, such as an apartment parking lot, get a letter of approval from the management.
What Paint should be used?
Suggested paints to be used are water-based, inverted tip marker, yellow trafic spray paints. An inverted tip can is more environmentally safe than aerosal cans because it is lead-free, contains no methylene chloride, it has lower volatile organic carbons and it is ozone-safe. One can of spray paint will stencil approximately 20 drains.
What other stenciling tips should be followed?
· Keep a record of storm drains completed on the stencil tracking form provided by DEQ.
· Make a record of drains you observe to be contaminated with wastes on your stencil tracking form. Have your project leader mail the tracking form to DEQ at the address listed below.
· Follow safety rules. Assign a traffic guard to wear a traffic vest. Do the project in groups.
· Wear old clothes and old comfortable shoes.
· Clean up. Store stencil in one plastic bag; Pickup all paper towels, rags, or empty paint cans and dispose in another bag. Dispose all waste properly.
· Return the stencil, the stencil tracking form and paint cans to your project leader when finished.
· Maintain your drains and keep them free of debris.
Where Wastes Should Go
Now that you know the dangers of dumping wastes, what is our alternative to getting rid of it?
· Recycle when possible. Most products-like motor oils, paint thinners-can be recycled and reused.
· Make these good habits in using household cleaners and materials: recycling, reusing and swapping. Contact local authorities for information.
· Contact licensed contractors or recycling agencies listed in your yellow pages. If you can't find such services in your area, contact your local waste water treatment plant for advice on disposing liquid wastes, or the local sanitation department for solid wastes.
· Organize a local collection or swap program. Contact DEQ for information.
· Call the DEQ hotline at (225)342-1234 to find out who to contact about hazardous waste pickup.
· Reduce the amount of hazardous wastes you use by buying environmentally safer substances.
To report illegal dumping in Louisiana's waters or hazardous waste spills, note the type and extent of discharge, the time of observation, and identify the violator if possible, then call DEQ's Notification Hotline (225)342-1234.