Boy Scouts Troop 467 Member Joseph Davis puts the finishing touches on a “No Dumping” label he placed on a Sandy Springs storm drain. Aug. 3, 2012. The label is intended to keep people from dumping bizarre things into storm drains for no apparent reason.

Local Boy Scouts are on the march in Sandy Springs, putting labels on storm drains with a pretty clear message: No Dumping.

Yes, apparently some people don’t know this. And their ignorance about what happens to all of the garbage they throw down storm drains is hurting the local river ecosystem, Sandy Springs storm water officials say.

The water that spills out of these drains is untreated and makes its way to the Chattahoochee River.

The city’s press team invited reporters out to the intersection of Princeton Trace and Old College Way on Aug. 3 to see the boys in action. Ted Davis and his brother Joseph, both members of Troop 467, glued the warning labels to the concrete.

The blue and white labels are intended to remind people that all of the bizarre things they dump into the drains – like cat litter and dog feces – wind up in the river ecosystem.

Clumping cat litter? Seriously? Yes, Sandy Springs officials say. For some reason people think this is a good idea.

Some people also think it’s fine to let motor oil and gasoline drain into these things as well.

Local Boy Scouts had to glue this label to the top of storm drains to remind people that dumping cat litter and other random things into the drains is a bad idea.

Come to think of it, it’s probably a good thing the labels are glued on.

Even the seemingly mundane stuff, like grass clippings, hurts the river ecosystem when it’s dumped into a storm drain, according to Celia Klardie, storm water manager for Sandy Springs public works.

As grass decomposes it sucks up all the oxygen in the water, causing fish kills. Fill the drains with enough trash and – surprise surprise – it can back up.

“It’s a water quality thing but it’s also a flooding issue,” Klardie said.

Since the city incorporated in 2005 it has spent $6.5 million of taxpayer money fixing the city’s storm water infrastructure.

Left to right: Celia Klardie, storm water manager for the Sandy Springs Public Works Department, Brittney Thropp, storm water construction manager, and Ted Davis of Boy Scouts Troop 467 peek under a manhole cover near the intersection of intersection of Princeton Trace and Old College Way. Aug. 3, 2012. People are known to stick garbage in drains and sometimes the amount of trash causes flooding. Why would people put trash in a storm drain? Why?

Reminding people that dumping paint and fertilizer into a storm drain is a dumb thing to do is a part of the city’s efforts. No, really.

The Boy Scouts will label some 200 drains to attract the attention of idiots who think throwing their fast food bag down one would be preferable to putting it in a garbage can.

So really, at this point, there should be no excuse. People can’t plead ignorance. They might’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for these meddling kids.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of