Letter: Boy Scouts help us keep streets and rivers cleanWater pollution is never a pretty picture. It’s always something floating around that ruins swimming, fishing, or even drinking.
By: Paul Drotos, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
Water pollution is never a pretty picture. It’s always something floating around that ruins swimming, fishing, or even drinking.
Fortunately, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is finally coming to grips with some of the major pollutants in the Mississippi River. One pollutant that we can all recognize is called “total suspended solids.” Total suspended solids or TSS are the fine particles of soil, leaves, and algae that cloud the river and are filling in Lake Pepin.
Red Wing has a stormwater pollution prevention plan to limit the amount of TSS that washes off our streets and adds to the problem downstream. It’s easy to imagine that every road is like river front property because the catch basins and storm sewer pipes in front of your house are directly connected to the river. Any street pollution is therefore river pollution.
Street pollution, including grass and leaves, add tons of fine particles to an already overloaded river. Street litter turns to water pollution whenever it rains. Overspray of lawn chemicals, when not swept up, have the same effects on the river that they have on your lawn.
Nobody wants to swim, fish or drink in lawn chemicals.
On May 14, the Red Wing Boy Scouts will be out reminding people about our street’s connection to the river. They will be attaching, “NO DUMPING — DRAINS TO RIVER” stampings on stormwater catch basins. There is no better way to stop water pollution than to “Be Prepared” to keep our streets and rivers clean.
Paul Drotos is the city of Red Wing’s environmental officer.