Urban environments are packed with hard surfaces that prevent rain from soaking into the ground. It flows from property drains to street gutters, and then to our large channels, pipes and creeks. It can pick up a lot of debris on the way. When you do a stormwater audit, you can locate your school’s stormwater drains and find out how polluted they are – and why – and how you can make a positive impact on reducing pollution in local waterways.
Think about some goals for your audit.
Some goals might be to:
Many schools have large areas of hard surfaces like roofs, car parks, basketball courts, assembly areas or concrete quadrangles. These hard surfaces increase the amount of stormwater run-off that goes down the drain.
You can estimate the amount of stormwater run-off by calculating the area of all the hard surfaces and miltiplying by the amount of rain in a storm. Remember to use the right units! You can check your rainfall history for your area.
Stormwater flows into small drains which lead to larger stormwater drains and eventually drain into local waterways. It picks up litter, leaves, dirt and anything else on the surface as it travels.
By taking the actions identified in your stormwater audit, you can help reduce pollution in local waterways.
Follow these steps to make a plan to do your audit:
Follow these steps to find out where your stormwater drains are and what's in your stormwater.
Gather in your group with your plan and your equipment. Locate all the drains on your school grounds and record its location on a map.
As each drain is found, fill in information about:
After the stormwater audit, return to your classroom and review your data as a whole class.
How could you present your data in a meaningful way?
You might like to:
After you've looked at your results, ask yourself:
Find out the many ways you can make a positive impact and spread the word.
Identify strategies to reduce stormwater pollution in your school. Include these in a School Water Management Plan that shows water use issues and suggests actions to help reduce stormwater pollution.
There's lots of ways to share your findings from the stormwater audit with students and staff at your school. You could:
You might like to try some Persuasive techniques (2.6MB) to encourage people to do the right thing.
Don’t forget to celebrate your success! People like to know they’ve helped achieve something.
So, when you start seeing less pollution around stormwater drains, think about ways to tell everyone what a great job they’re doing and how they can do more.
Do a stormwater audit at home and share your new skills with your family, too.
This stormwater audit can be used for Stage 4 Geography – Water in the World.
Stage 4 Geography Stormwater Audit Lesson Plan (137 KB)
Stormwater Audit Recording Sheet (254 KB)
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