The City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities has received the 2017 National Environmental Achievement Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. The award will be formally presented at their winter conference in February.

The RVAH20 Storm Drain Art Contest was entered in the Public Information and Education: E-Media category. 

The project goal was to obtain a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit by 2018, making Richmond one of the first cities in the U.S. to do so.

DPU is mandated to reach 20 percent of Richmond residents with a stormwater/water quality message: address pollution, how the public is related to area waterways, and how individual actions impact overall water health.

So Richmond DPU developed the first annual Storm Drain Art Project, "It All Drains to the James." Richmond-area artists would apply to paint a storm drain design that conveyed how important it is to keep our river – and our drinking water – clean. 

The goal was to educate the public that pollutants that go into storm drains impact Richmond waterways – the very places that are so beloved for community swimming, fishing and water sports.  It’s why all six of the storm drains selected for this project carry stormwater directly into the James River – and into our water supply.

When the artists were selected and the art work completed, fans voted for a favorite design online. The artist with the most votes received the RVA Choice Award, along with special recognition.

Stroll down Tredegar Street and see for yourself how art can help communicate that what goes into these drains flows directly into the James.