City uses social media to educate citizens on stormwater runoff

Published 11:33 am Wednesday, January 3, 2024

The city of Nicholasville is using social media to educate residents about local waterways.

A recent post on its Facebook aims to protect Jessamine County’s lakes and rivers from the yards and neighborhoods of all area residents.

According to the city’s public works department webpage, stormwater runoff is a significant cause (40%) of the nation’s water pollution. The federal government has implemented regulations requiring cities to take steps to mitigate the problem. Nicholasville’s solution is education and awareness.

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It’s easy to forget about all the intricacies of wastewater, stormwater, waste, and road management when the only part most of us have in these processes to move smoothly is paying our taxes.

These behind-the-scenes elements of running a city go unnoticed until the pipes and ditches that carry rain and other liquids away from homes and businesses stop working correctly, and water fills the streets and properties.

Some residents may also be surprised to hear that water entering the stormwater drainage system is not treated like the water in the sanitary sewers, which is removed, treated and reused in kitchens and bathrooms.

Stormwater systems drain into the county’s various waterways, including the Kentucky River. Therefore, dirt, grass clippings, motor oil, gasoline and other organic materials pollute our waterways.

The city provided ten steps to prevent pollution of the county’s waterways:

• Don’t dump anything down storm drains, particularly oils, poisons, soaps, etc.

• Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly.

• Put litter in its place (trash and recycling cans).

• Pick up after your pet.

• Sweep driveways (don’t spray wash).

• Collect yard waste and keep it out of storm drains.

• Use a car wash (which recycles washing water) or wash car in grassy areas.

• Recycle used motor oil.

• Check your car for leaks (and have them fixed).

• Have your septic tank inspected every 3-5 years.

The city also requests that citizens compost or bag their fallen leaves and other yard waste rather than raking them into piles at the curb, since they are often swept into the stormwater system by rain and wind.

Please contact Nicholasville City Hall if you witness anyone dumping materials other than water into a drainage structure and provide information about the incident, including the address. A courtesy letter will be sent to inform the offender of the harm such actions cause and request that this not be done in the future. For more information about stormwater issues, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.