My River Starts Here is an initiative of Richland County Stormwater Management and the City of Columbia Stormwater Department. Our goal is to reduce pollution entering our local waterways through public education and outreach. Local waterways – creeks, streams, lakes, and rivers – are effected by pollutants that flow into our storm drains because water that flows into storm drains does not get treated or cleaned. Any pollutants that go into a storm drain flow directly into our waterways. These stormwater pollutants negatively affect water quality for people, fish, and animals.
 
We use storm drain markers as visual reminders to City and County residents that storm drains lead directly to local waterways. The City of Columbia and Richland County use weatherproof medallions with the image of a fish and water, along with “No Dumping/Drains to River” stamped in large letters.
 
Properly disposing of pet waste, keeping yards free of trash, recycling motor oil, and reducing pesticide and fertilizer use are a few actions residents can take to help keep our waterways clean.
What is stormwater? Simply put, stormwater is rain or snow.
 
What is a storm drain? A storm drain is an opening used to collect and divert water off of roadways to prevent flooding. Collected water moves through underground pipes directly to local waterways.
 
What’s the problem? Along with water, pollutants on the ground — such as chemicals and oils, pet waste, cigarette butts, litter — move into storm drains and flow directly to creeks, lakes, and rivers. In addition to runoff, some people actually dump pollutants, trash, and yard debris directly into or on top of storm drains.
 
Why is this a concern? Water that flows into storm drains does not get treated or cleaned. Any pollutants that go into a storm drain flow directly into our waterways. These stormwater pollutants negatively affect water quality for fish, animals, and people.
 
How will storm drain markers help? Richland County and the City of Columbia use the markers as visual reminders that our stormdrains lead directly to our streams and rivers. The markers are weatherproof medallions with the image of a fish and water, along with “No Dumping/Drains to River” stamped in big letters.
City of Columbia Drain Marker
Richland County Drain Marker

PARTNERS:

City of Columbia
Richland County