Storm Water Inlet Art Project Draws Attention to Water Quality

For the seventh year in a row, storm water inlets along downtown Sioux Falls streets will be painted by local artists to draw attention to the City’s storm drainage system and the water quality of the Big Sioux River.

A Call for Art went out in late April, and designs were selected by a subcommittee of the Visual Arts Commission in partnership with the City of Sioux Falls the first week of June. Artwork was selected based on appropriateness of the content, relevance to the area and audience, and site plan, visibility, and impact. The project also included a youth category, in which individuals under the age of 18 were encouraged to apply. Artists will begin painting the eight new inlets in the downtown area this week.

A map with the storm inlet paintings can be found at Photos of the artwork will be uploaded to the web page once all painting is complete at the end of the week.

“A common misconception is that storm drains lead to a water treatment plant just like the sanitary sewer. That is not the case—water that flows down the storm drains actually leads directly to the Big Sioux River or other natural drainageways with little or no treatment. As the storm water washes over the pavement, it carries with it everything the water picks up. This includes litter, pollutants, pet waste, and sediment. Our hope is that the art on these storm drains will bring attention to the purpose of the storm inlets and to remind people of the impact we all have,” says City of Sioux Falls Environmental Analyst Colin Chatterton.

The City hopes to continue this project each year to continue raising awareness about water quality.

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