The cities of Cibolo and Schertz, Texas, like many suburban cities, are required to obtain a stormwater permit from the state. The permit, called a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, requires cities to limit discharges of harmful pollutants through a variety of techniques. One of those techniques is educating the public about the types and sources of pollutants. Many are unaware of the various seemingly harmless sources of pollution. That awareness is a critical part of the solution to limiting pollutant discharges.
Cities’ efforts to educate the public takes many forms, including pamphlets in water bills and articles in newspapers and magazines. However, one of the more effective tools is outreach at local elementary schools. Conveniently, third and fourth grade students in Texas begin studying the water cycle in the spring every year. The water cycle describes the natural process by which water is evaporated or transpirated (water vapor emitted by plant material) into the environment.