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Town’s Stormwater Program Recognized for its Innovative Public Education & Outreach; Project Management

 October 2, 2018
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Town’s Stormwater Program Recognized for its Innovative Public Education & Outreach; Project Management

Key Initiatives included ‘Stormwater Police’ public service announcement & sidewalk rain art

North Hempstead, NY – The Town of North Hempstead recently received recognition from the National Municipal Stormwater Green Infrastructure Awards Program as a Silver Level awardee in Project Management and Innovation for its stormwater management and education and outreach programs. The Water Environment Federation (WEF) dubs them the “MS4” awards program (MS4 is an EPA term for “Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System.”). The WEF stated that the award level was selected for the Town’s MS4 program “based on rigorous review and discussion among the work team, and provides a comparative benchmarking level for your community among the other 2018 applicants.”

The Town’s MS4 Stormwater Management Program was judged on elements that include:
-Public Education and Outreach
-Public participation and Involvement
-Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Program
-Construction Site Runoff Program
-Post Construction Runoff Control Program
-Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping activities
-Program Management and Water Quality Monitoring Programs

“It’s rewarding to be recognized by the Water Environment Federation for our overall stormwater management program and for our efforts in innovative educational outreach to the public,” said North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “It’s so important that we keep pollution out of our storm drains because water from our streets and our neighborhoods runs directly into our bays and harbors.”

The Town’s Educational and Outreach program for stormwater management included rain-activated sidewalk art as part of the educational campaign. The rain art, with its message of “Only Rain in the Drain,” helps people connect that what goes into the storm drains also goes into the waterways. Polluted storm water often affects sources of drinking water, which in turn, can affect human health, and also travels to bays and harbors, where it can harm water quality and wildlife, making it unsafe to swim.

“We hope that this educational campaign, done in a whimsical way with sidewalk art, will help people make the connection between what goes into the storm drain and what flows into our waterways,” said Supervisor Bosworth.

The Town’s educational campaign also included a public service announcement https://youtu.be/ZZ_jt1_BBKo featuring a fictional Storm Water Police Officer who educates people when they attempt to pour pollutants down the storm drain.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of more than 34,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations (MAs) representing water quality professionals around the world. Since 1928, WEF and its members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, our mission is to connect water professionals; enrich the expertise of water professionals; increase the awareness of the impact and value of water; and provide a platform for water sector innovation.

The rain art educational campaign was one of several initiatives that were commended by the National Municipal Stormwater Green Infrastructure Awards Program. The Town was cited as a Silver Level awardee.

The Storm Water Police officer in this North Hempstead public service announcement gives a lesson in keeping storm water clean.


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