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Stenciling partnership aims to keep storm drains clean
Oak Forest subdivision chosen as first area No Dumping site
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Keep Dawson County Beautiful Director Kristi Hudson and Robbie Irvin, the countys stormwater and plan review manager, display a stencil they are using to mark curbs and gutters that lead to creeks. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Neighbors living in Oak Forest Subdivision on Kilough Church Road are the first to partner with Dawson County's Office of Stormwater Management in an effort to keep drains leading to creeks and streams free of pollutants.

"We're very proud they asked us to be the first," said Jim Buckley, president of the Oak Forest Homeowners Association.

Buckley was among several residents on hand Friday afternoon when the first markers were spray painted on drains leading to a nearby creek.

The "No Dumping" stencils show a fish and the notice that the gutter "drains to stream."

Dawson County's Stormwater and Plan Review Manager Robbie Irvin said the project serves as an educational reminder for residents that anything placed in the drains will end up in local waterways.

"We want to make sure we give everybody as much opportunity as we can to know where [the drains go]. That's the idea behind this," he said.

The project was designed in conjunction with federal state stormwater management mandates.

Dawson County's Stormwater Management Program regulates the county's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System as a requirement of the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System stormwater permitting program.

Dawson County received the designation in March of 2014.

With the designation, the county was required to apply for coverage under the State of Georgia Environmental Protection Division's permit for small systems and to develop a Stormwater Management Plan.

There are 18 roads with drains leading directly to creeks in the designated zone near Ga. 400's more heavily populated and urban area, according to Irvin.

"We have a whole lot more roads in this area, but these 18 roads specifically drain into streams or rivers," Irvin said.