Protecting the Water Supply, and Why It Starts at the Storm Drain


On a rainy day, it’s common for storm drains to fill up with trash and chemicals. But does that trash actually end up in the water supply? Not always. It depends on how your city maintains its storm water and if they use a prevention system.

Joining us today to talk about poor trash management, the consequences, and solutions is John Deming, EVP and COO of Safe Drain Stormwater Holdings, a storm water pollution prevention systems manufacturer.

Poor trash management can lead to polluted waters, and luckily most parts of the country are taking it seriously.With the implementation of trash control procedures at the city, state, and federal level, it’s clear that trash capture is a priority. Lots of cities [in California] are being proactive to meet the goals required by 2026; however, more education and awareness is still needed,” Deming said..

By 2026, California cities must meet new guidelines about what tolerances their storm drains should have. They’ll have to filter out trash down to 5 millimeters. This should keep the majority of trash out, but the public has to be more responsible as well.

“There needs to be more public awareness about the consequences to littering and how it impacts the planet, people, and animals. Cities can help as well with more trash and recycling receptacles available, which there seem to be less and less of,” Deming said.

Many cities, airports, and construction sites have been ahead of the game when it comes to reducing trash and spillage from making it to the water supply. They use the Safe Drain system. It fits any size storm drain and offers a scalable filtration system.

“Our first product was designed to stop chemicals from entering into storm drains. But we kept seeing trash in the systems, so now we have a new product specifically for trash. And when a city has one of these in place, they can learn about that particular area by the trash collected. Then they can determine if they need more signage or trash cans in that area to counter the littering,” Deming said.

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