Members of Minot State University mark where storm drains lead

Published: Sep. 12, 2019 at 11:43 AM CDT
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Minot State University allowed incoming freshman the chance to get their hands dirty with service projects around the city. One project involved bringing awareness to where the storm drains lead.

Water run-off headed down this storm drain goes straight to the Souris River, which is why Minot State University faculty, staff and students stamped drains to let the public know.

"I really didn't know that all of that stuff went to the Souris River. I mean it is pretty eye opening,” said Logan Weber, a freshman at Minot State University.

"It was really cool for the students to get to see how much gets washed onto and into the storm drains. Because almost every storm drain had a water bottle. Garbage. Waters bottles, paper, plastic. It really drove home this idea that wow when it rains everything goes here,” said Heidi Super, a biology professor at Minot State University.

Super says that is exactly why she wanted to bring awareness to where things go that get dumped in the storm drains.

"A lot of us misunderstand the water system and how things are handled and think, 'Well, if my straw or my oil or my antifreeze gets to the river, it is going to go to the water treatment plant and be filtered and cleaned and made perfect before it gets discharged into the river or used as drinking water.' But it goes straight to the river,” said Super.

She says pollutants that make their way to the Souris can endanger wildlife and even affect the chemistry of the river.

"You look down them and you realize that so much can be sent in just a matter of a day or a couple of hours can already be in the river,” said Weber.

Working to help the environment in the Magic City.

Super says she hopes to see the project grow in the future. She says one day she'd like to see all of the storm drains labeled.