Water Pollution 101
Our Future Depends on Clean Water
Access to clean water is important for our safety and vitality. Stormwater management is critical to prevent water pollution and ensure the health of our ecosystems.
There are two main types of pollution:
Non-Point source water pollution refers to pollution for which the source is difficult to identify. It occurs when precipitation collects pollutants on the ground as it makes its way to our local waterways.
Point source water pollution occurs when the contaminant comes from a single obvious source, like an industrial factory or municipal wastewater treatment plant.
How Does Stormwater Pollution Occur?
A watershed is all the land area that drains into a stream, river, lake or other body of water. Stormwater runoff – rainfall that does not soak into the ground, but instead flows over the land into these surface waters – is important to replenish our water supply, but can also harm our watersheds if pollutants are collected along the way.
The Metro Water District's Plan to Manage Stormwater
The Metro Water District considers many strategies to develop a comprehensive regional program that protects our water quality and promotes watershed health.
The Watershed Management Plan includes five model ordinances required of all local jurisdictions as well as regional and state policy recommendations. Additional measures to be implemented by cities and counties within the Metro Water District cover:
- watershed planning and conditions assessment
- land development
- stormwater asset management
- pollution prevention
- public awareness
Metro Water District partners have worked aggressively over the past five years implementing these management measures. All local governments within the 15 counties have passed a version of their required ordinances at the local level. During 2014, more than 50 percent of local governments within the Metro Water District took steps to improve watershed health such as carrying out stormwater projects, applying for grants or prioritizing watersheds to receive projects.Learn more
Children's Water Festivals
Thanks to all partners, sponsors, volunteers, participating schools, teachers, parents, and school bus drivers who help us host nearly 1,200 students over two days each year.
Due to the pandemic, the Children’s Water Festivals were last hosted in person in 2019. For the 2021 Festival, we partnered with Georgia Public Broadcasting to create Georgia Water Live, a virtual live exploration during which metro area elementary students learn many of the same themes presented at the in-person event every year. The live exploration is open to all ages and grades.
We hope to return to an in-person festival in May 2022. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In 2019, the Children’s Water Festival were held at two sites: the Southern Festival at Clayton County’s Shamrock-Blalock Reservoirs, and the Northern Festival at the Paces Mill Unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreational Area. Students learned about our local watersheds and wildlife, experienced large utility trucks and equipment up-close, and learned about water safety and how rainwater passes through the storm drain to surface water sources.
One way that we keep the in-person festival accessible is by providing a stipend for busing to participating schools. As the CWF continues to grow, there is a need to partner with others in the community to ensure that education on our shared water resources is available to all students and all communities.
Thank you to EAM Landscaping, Inc. for providing sponsorship for the 2019 CWF. Their contribution will help send at least one school to the event. They will also be participating in our Southern event by teaching students about the importance of keeping trash out of our storm drains.
Thank you to Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) for providing volunteer lunches and logistics support, to Clayton County Water Authority and National Park Service for providing event locations and logistics support, and to the many water utility and authority partners who make this event possible.
Thank you Dunwoody Nature Center for providing in-kind services for wildlife education.
If your organization is interested in making a difference by sponsoring the Children’s Water Festival, please contact email@example.com
About the Festival
The Children’s Water Festival is an annual event hosted by the water utilities and authorities of the 15-county metro Atlanta region and supported by the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (the District) and the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP). The purpose of the event is to educate children about our region’s shared water resources and the importance of protecting watersheds and conserving drinking water. Each year during Drinking Water Week, we offer schools from across the 15-county region the opportunity to send their elementary aged students to participate in hands-on activities to learn about our shared environment and resources, and how kids and their families can practice good water stewardship.
View photos from the event below, or watch WSB-TV’s report on it here.