Lisa Rain, the City of Orlando’s Streets and Stormwater Division Public Awareness Specialist, writes about how creative storm drains are bringing awareness to our stormwater system and its connection to our lakes and streams.
How many storm drains do you drive, walk or bike past every day? Storm drains are a part of stormwater infrastructure that are typically designed to blend in and go unnoticed.
Here in Orlando, we’re breaking the monotony and showcasing storm drains.
In an effort to increase awareness surrounding stormwater pollution, artists from our community are painting storm drains, making them stand out and giving people a reason to pay attention to them.
Artwork on storm drains, along with the words “Only Rain Down The Drain,” brings awareness to our stormwater system and its connection to our waterways in Florida. Storm inlets drain directly into lakes, streams and other open bodies of water.
This means that anything that goes down a storm drain will eventually end up in one of our 123 lakes, into a stream that feeds into the St. John’s River or into a channel that will eventually flow into the Everglades.
When pollution goes down a storm drain, it directly harms water quality and aquatic life around us.
Artwork on storm inlets educates our community members and reminds them of the function of our storm drains. While the actual connection between a storm drain and a lake consists of a series of underground pipes, artwork creates a visual connection that we can see and understand.
By drawing attention to storm drains, we hope that landscapers will rethink blowing leaves down a drain, that residents will pick up after their dogs and drivers will think twice before throwing cigarettes out of car windows.
Through Mayor Dyer’s Green Works Orlando initiative, we’re working to make Orlando the most sustainable city in the southeast. Part of that effort means keeping our many waterways blue and beautiful by keeping pollution out of our storm drains.
What better way to share that message than through beautiful and colorful artwork?