Around 829,000 humans die each year according to the World Health Organization. The most common reason is diarrhea due to a lack of clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. Millions of humans globally are less aware and lack of education has been a  consequence of illness and weaker health systems among many people.  

Globally people are facing the crisis of unclear water and although a few issues have been getting attention, other defects in the water system are still unfound such as the issue of stormwater pollution.

When pollutants are washed into bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes, and seas, they are referred to as stormwater pollution. This kind of pollution is quite concerning since it may negatively affect the ecosystem, animals, and human health.

Water Pollution. Photo by Xianyu hao on Unsplash

Stormwater pollution has a number of negative impacts, one of which is that it can pollute sources of drinking water. Stormwater runoff may pollute water used for irrigation and drinking when it takes up contaminants including chemicals, oil, and microorganisms. People who depend on well water or who live in places where the water supply is already prone to pollution may have major health issues as a result, in particular.

To bring awareness to this water crisis, students from Sharon High School located in Massachusetts, United States planned a campaign to raise their voices through their artwork.

A student from Sharon High School painting a mural on the street as part of the Storm Drain Mural Project. Image courtesy of Neponset River Watershed Association.

Storm Drain Mural is one such project that indicates the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Clean Water and Sanitation contributing to understanding the global issue of how waterways play a major role in our daily lifestyle.

In collaboration with the Neponset River Watershed Association and Sharon Water Department, local artists and students from Sharon High School came together to paint murals around the drains in Sharon to educate residents of the city and bring awareness to stormwater pollution.

The project started in 2018 with the main initiative of simply bringing awareness to the people about storm drains and polluted stormwater runoff.

Nancy Fyler, the outreach director for NepRWA, challenged a group of high school art students to create murals around the school's storm drains working under the direction of their art teacher, Janine Gardner.

“The students learn about important environmental issues and get to use their creativity in a very helpful way,” said Gardner.

The amazing result is lifelong remembered by everyone who walks along Pond St., from the high school toward Lake Massapoag.

Overall, stormwater pollution is a significant problem that needs to be addressed in order to protect the health and well-being of humans, wildlife, and the environment. With projects such as the Storm Drain Mural, more attention needs to be brought from higher places like the governments and water companies.

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