Students will stencil storm drains with the words Don’t Dump, Protect your Water.

AUBURN – Gifted and Talented Math and Science students from area high schools will stencil storm drains along Turner and Summer streets on Wednesday, April 28.

Students will stencil the words “Don’t Dump, Protect your Water” in an effort to educate the public and raise awareness about pollution in rivers, streams and lakes.

It is often thought that storm drains flow into catch basins, then on to the treatment plant, but many storm drains bring storm water runoff filled with oil, sediment and chemicals directly into the Androscoggin River, especially during the spring season.

Storm drain stenciling is becoming a popular activity across the nation as many small municipalities have recently become subject to a new regulation (the Phase II Storm Water Program), requiring them to educate the public about the dangers of polluting storm water runoff and ways they can help.

The cities of Auburn and Lewiston and the town of Sabattus are all subject to the new regulation. The storm drain stenciling is helping to fulfill the requirements of the regulation.

In connection with the regulation, a Stormwater Fair will be held from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 30, at the Auburn Land Lab, corner of the North Auburn and Holbrook roads. The event is sponsored by the Auburn School Department Land Lab, city of Auburn and the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District.

There will be exhibits and activities developed by area high school students, displays showing where stormwater goes and what residents can do at work and home to prevent stormwater pollution.

Those attending can participate in the “Maze of Stormwater” and learn what the local towns and cities are doing to improve water quality. There will be activities for people of all ages.

As water from rain and snow melts off the land it picks up pollutants from many sources. The pollutants can add up to have a major impact on the quality of water and can increase the risk of flooding. The sources of the pollution come from everyday activities that each participates in.

The following area streams have already been affected: Penley Brook, Logan Brook, Lake Auburn Outlet, all of Auburn, and Jepson Brook, Stetson Brook, Goff Brook, Gully Brook, No Name Brook and Dill Brook of Lewiston.

There is an opportunity to prevent the pollution from affecting those water bodies and others. Those attending the Stormwater Fair can learn, in a fun way, how to prevent water pollution.

For more information contact the Auburn Land Lab, 783-4563 or check out the Web page at http://landlab.auburnschl.edu.


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