City to mark watersheds with signs

A sign indicates the Bear Creek Watershed on Franklin Street on the campus of Truman State University.

The Kirksville Watershed Management Commission received a grant to fund installing signs across the city to help inform citizens about watersheds in the area. The signs were posted to help educate citizens about watersheds and the importance of protecting water sources and the environment.

Commission chairman Len Kollars said the grant came from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Source Water Protection Program. The commission applied for the grant, and as part of the application, it submitted the watershed sign project idea. Kollars said the grant was around $20,000 and covered the costs of all the signs, posts and markers for storm inlets.

There are about 50 signs posted around the city. He said Kirksville is located mainly in the Salt River watershed, but the Hazel Creek Lake watershed and the Forest Lake watershed are also sources of drinking water for the city.

Kollars said the project is going well, and citizens have shown a lot of interest in the commission’s project and the city’s watersheds.

Assistant city manager Ashley Young said it is important that citizens are educated about where their water comes from, and it will help them make better decisions regarding their water, such as what they flush down the drain or wash off their driveway.

Young said beyond protecting the environment, protecting watersheds helps save taxpayer money because the cleaner the water is when it goes into the city’s water treatment facility, the fewer chemicals and resources there are that have to be expended to make the water drinkable. He said fewer taxpayer dollars are spent as part of the process.