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'Drains aren't dumps': beautifying Columbia's storm drains

Did you know that ONLY rain water is supposed to go down a stormwater drain? Here is how Richland County is trying to remind people of that.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Richland County Stormwater Management has partnered with Columbia Water, One Columbia and local artist Jessica Dame on a public art project that doubles as a storm drain marketing campaign.

Richland stormwater management education program coordinator Chenille Williams says, “That is our hope - that seeing this beautiful work of art that catches everyone’s eye and then having the message that only rain should go down the drain will remind people that only rain should go down the drain.”

“Our storm drains lead directly to our waterways," Williams says, "So anything that goes into a storm drain goes directly to our local waterways, which is very important to all of us: for ecotourism, recreation, its our drinking water source. So we want to do everything we can to keep our service water clean which includes making sure that only rain goes down the drain and remembering that drains aren’t dumps.”

RELATED: 'Drains Aren't Dumps' campaign is turning storm drains into public art

We spoke with artist Jessica Dame who said, “I was really excited to submit my portfolio because it marries two things that I love which is art and environmentalism.” Dame said she has even since found alternative ways to discard her paint water since being selected for the project. 

Dame will be beautifying three more drains in the midlands with hopes to spread the message that "drains are not dumps."

If you have any story ideas or information on things happening around town, contact us at StreetSquad@wltx.com or tweet us using the hashtag #StreetSquad19.

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