The storm sewers drain directly into the Crow River, which feeds into Rice Lake and Lake Koronis, without going through any filtration or cleaning processes beforehand.
The drains were put in place to drain water out of the streets after a rainstorm, or after the snow melts each spring.
One problem is people dumping harmful chemicals or other waste materials into the drains and having that go directly into our area rivers and lakes. This has been one of the pollution problems in our area's natural water supply.
This summer the city is going out to place curb markers on the storm sewers to remind people that the sewers drain directly into the areaâs rivers and lakes. This, hopefully, will remind people not to dump anything down the storm sewer drains.
"We are trying to educate the general public on what happens when something is dumped into the storm sewers," said Ron Mergen, Paynesville Public Works Director. "There is no filter or catch basin, it goes straight into the river."
These curb markers are being supplied by the Koronis Lake Association.
They plan to start putting the markers on the storm drains as soon as construction is done. They will first just be put on the repaired streets where construction is being done, and if this idea seems to catch on successfully, they are going to expand it to other parts of the town.
The curb markers say, "No Dumping, Drains to Waterways."
They are also encouraging people not to wash cars on the pavement, this includes driveways, streets, or parking lots, because the chemicals from the soaps will also go straight into the storm drains, and then to the river. Instead people are encouraged to wash their cars on the grass, so the ground soaks it up and then it will not go directly into the areaâs rivers and lakes.
People are encouraged not to dump anything down the storm drains, especially harmful chemicals, motor oil, and other forms of waste. This will help keep the area's rivers and lakes clean.
This project should help to attain the goal of having clean area lakes and rivers once again.
The city lagoons, however, do not go back into the river. That is treated and then used in irrigation. It does not go directly back to the area's natural water supply.
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