Public Education

Durham's residents make a big difference in the health of our local streams, rivers, and lakes. Whether it's mulching yard waste, adopting drains, or calling the Pollution Prevention Hotline, Durhamites are our first defense against pollution!

How You Can Help

Prevent Sediment Pollution

Learn about  sediment pollution and how to prevent it in your daily habits.

Neighborhood with loose dirt in yards. Rain carries the dirt into the street, then the storm drain.

Learn How to Build a Rain Garden

Visit our Rain Garden page to learn how to build your own rain garden.
Rain Garden Diagram

Clean a Stream

Join a Big Sweep stream cleanup the 1st Saturday in October, or a Creek Week cleanup in March. Removing litter from our streets, trails, and waterways keeps it clean for us and the animal life that depends on the water.
Stream Clean Up Group
Label Storm Drains
Gather a small group of neighbors to label storm drains in your neighborhood. The labels remind folks not to dump leaves, liquids, trash, or anything else into the drains. This project is perfect for scout troops, youth groups, or other service projects.
Labeling a Storm Drain

Adopt a Drain

Visit to find one or more storm drains to adopt. Each month and before big rain storms, clear the drain(s) of trash, leaves, and debris.

Logo of adopt-a-drain

Pledge to Do Your Duty

Pledge to bring bags, scoop every poop, and carry poop to the trash can to throw it away. To take the pledge, post a photo to social media of you doing your duty with #DurhamDoodyPledge. Find out more about why pet wastes are harmful to the environment.

Want More Information?

  • Invite a speaker: If you would like to invite us to present to your class, neighborhood group, or civic club, contact [email protected]. School lessons are correlated to the Science Essential Standards. Speakers' Bureau topics feature how we use green stormwater infrastructure and pollution prevention to improve Durham's streams and watersheds. For other potential topics, contact us. 
  • Waterways newsletter: Waterways is a semiannual newsletter that informs residents about stormwater issues. Topics include tips to prevent water pollution, project updates, and floodplain information.
  • CWEP: The Clean Water Education Partnership (CWEP) is a cooperative effort between local governments, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations to protect water quality in NC river basins. CWEP produces and shares media, public service announcements, and educational materials.