Fort Worth Tackles Illegal Dumping in Storm Drains

The $6,500 sign initiative will put markers on all of the city's 35,000 storm drains

By Chris Van Horne
|  Wednesday, Feb 1, 2012  |  Updated 8:36 PM CDT
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Fort Worth's Storm Water Department tries to combat illegal dumping in Fort Worth.

Chris Van Horne, Fort Worth Reporter

Fort Worth's Storm Water Department tries to combat illegal dumping in Fort Worth.

Illegal dumping into storm drains is a persistent problem for cities across North Texas, but Fort Worth is trying to educate residents to combat the problem.

"We're trying to make sure they don't blow grass clippings and throw their trash in there, we find all sorts of things," said Elizabeth Young with Fort Worth's Storm Water Department.

The storm water department says when they do catch people illegally dumping oil, trash or yard clippings into storm drains the excuse they hear the most is that people didn't know it's illegal.

"It's always an ongoing issue and always a concern, however we're making sure we focus on it and bring it to the attention of our citizens," said Young.

The city is resorting to markers to remind people where the drains lead, in the hopes residents will think twice about dumping into sewers.

Unlike the simple fish of the past, the new markers are uniquely Fort Worth with the Longhorn logo and city phone number.

"There's a number, an ID number used by our field crews as well as our citizens to report the specific issue," said Young. "So when you call in you can report that number and we'll know exactly where you're at."

This week, storm water crews are installing 1,000 blue markers in the targeted neighborhoods of Westcliff, Glen Garden, Summerfields, Como and Fairmount.

The $6,500 storm drain initiative has a long-term goal of reaching all of the city's 35,000 storm drains and hopefully all of the city's citizens.

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