Stormwater is generated when rain or snowmelt is not able to be absorbed into the ground. This may be due to rainwater falling on hard, impervious surfaces such as roofs and asphalt parking lots; the ground is already over saturated and cannot absorb anymore water; or it rains faster than the water can be absorbed back into the soil. Unlike wastewater or combined sewers, stormwater sewers DO NOT connect to the wastewater treatment plants. Anything that is picked up by stormwater including trash, pesticides, pet waste, etc., as it flows over yards, streets, and parking lots can make its way into nearby lakes, creeks, and rivers. This form of pollution is a type of non-point source pollution.
In a new partnership with Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD), EarthWays is working to help bring these topics to life in classrooms around the region. Schools within the MSD Service Area can participate in the MSD Clean Water Education program for FREE. This program allows area educators to borrow a hands-on model of watershed, explore topics of stormwater management and water quality, and even participate in Storm Drain Marking events to put knowledge into practice. The EnviroScape® model is a visual, hands-on tool that demonstrates how water pollution results from everyday activities. Through this demonstration students will learn how everyone in their community can reduce non-point source pollution and have healthier watersheds. MSD’s Storm Drain Marker Program provides a visible reminder of the consequences of improper waste disposal, and helps communicate to the community that storm drains can carry pollution to area rivers and streams.
In addition to this new learning opportunity area educators can learn more themselves by attending a free training at the EarthWays Center on the topic of stormwater and water quality issues. EarthWays is offering two free workshops this school year in December and March for area educators. During these workshops, teachers will learn how to use the EnviroScape® model, explore new activities to bring to the classroom, and gain a better understanding of the importance of including stormwater as part of their curriculum.
Workshops are scheduled for:
Saturday, December 9, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; lunch and snacks provided
Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 4 to 8 p.m.; dinner and snacks provided.
To register for a workshop, educators should sign-up at www.MSDCleanwater.eventbrite.com