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Environmental Public Health

Storm Water Awareness Program

Presentation about the Storm Water Awareness Program

Imagine you have just changed your motor oil in your car. You don't know what to do with the old oil. You notice a storm drain a couple of yards away from your house. You think to yourself, "No one will notice if I dump this gallon of used oil down the storm drain." You, however, are wrong. That gallon of used motor oil, if dumped illegally into storm drains will directly lead into Lincoln's rivers, streams, and lakes, making them unsuitable to swim in, and killing off all of the aquatic life in them. The storm Water Awareness Program (SWAP) in association with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department's (LLCHD), main goal is to help educate the 250,000 Lincolnites about the importance of keeping our waterways clean and healthy by not contributing to non-point source pollution.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has identified non-point source pollution as the main cause of our nation's water quality problems. Non-point source pollution originates with the overuse of yard chemicals and the careless dumping of motor oil, anti-freeze, and paint down storm drains. Unlike municipal water, rainwater runoff does not go through the wastewater treatment plant. Therefore anything picked up from rainwater runoff: litter, grass clippings, excess fertilizers, pesticides, residue from oil leaks on streets and parking lots and sediment from construction sites, go directly into our lakes and streams. When these pollutants enter our waterways they eventually affect fish and other aquatic life, and ultimates our groundwater.

Volunteer's needed:

The goal of SWAP is to mark all 15,000 city storm drains with the "No Dumping - Drains to Creek" message, which is a small reminder to citizens that water quality is directly affected by wastes going down storm drains. Families, neighborhood associations, organizations, or individuals are encouraged to volunteer. Call 441-8035 or E-mail: Keep Lincoln & Lancaster County Beautiful to volunteer in this worthwhile effort. Let's clean our own back yard while we protect Lincoln's water.

Some shocking facts about non-point source pollution

Here is a list of what we can do as responsible citizens to keep our streams and drinking water supply safe:

Please report all illegal dumping in progress; if in the City of LIncoln call Lincoln Police Department at (402) 441-6000 or any other illegal dump sites in the county at (402) 441-8022. If outside Lincoln call the Sheriff's Department at (402) 441-6500.

Don't be a part of the pollution source! Practice responsible behavior and be a volunteer in our curb marking efforts.

Questions? Call 441-8035 E-mail:

The SWAP program receives support from the Lincoln Public Works and Utilities Departments.

InterLinc City of Lincoln Departments Category Location

Health Environmental Public Health Environmental Quality KLLCB