High school students paint storm drains for pollution awareness in Largo

Largo High School student Elizabeth Piehl is hoping a little bit of art will bring a lot of change.

“We have the quote ‘Only Rain Down the Drain’ and we have only water flowing in,” the ninth grader told FOX 13. “Because that’s what we want going in. We don’t want your trash or anything else.”

Elizabeth is one of several students volunteering their time and talent to paint storm water drains in a Largo neighborhood.

Katrina Lunan-Gordon with the city of Largo says it’s something residents should be conscious of because storm water is the number one pollution in Largo.

The Bay Area’s troubles with clogged storm drains are no secret. They’ve caused horrendous flooding issues for years and in 2015, the city of Tampa hiked the storm water fees for the first time since the early 90s. 

“The storm drains that you see, and the rain that comes down; that goes right into the storm drains, involves oils, chemicals, a lot of leaves, even trash from neighbors, and that all goes in the storm drains,” Lunan-Gordon said. “And guess where that leads to? All of the waterways in the Tampa Bay area.”

Neighbor Robert Raimondo says the students' artwork makes the drainage areas really pop.

“We can actually see them, and the little signs that say what’s allowed to go down there, what’s not allowed to go down there, which is really beneficial,” he said.

Lunan-Gordon just proud of the students for using their Saturday to volunteer.  

“Having them come out here and educating the neighbors, the kids, even the people who came out to donate! I think it’s so key. I think this will carry on with them throughout their years in high school, and even college and furthermore,” she said.