Great Bend works to clean up water

? Small painted white fish are showing up on storm drains throughout the central Kansas town of Great Bend as part of an effort to clean up the city’s storm water.

A few years ago, Great Bend received a permit through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System mandating more stringent monitoring and preventative measures.

Environmental Protection Agency reports that polluted storm water run-off was a leading cause of contamination in nearly 40 percent of surveyed U.S. water bodies that do not meet water-quality standards.

The EPA has typically focused its attention on larger cities, such as Wichita. But now it’s taking a closer look at smaller cities such as Great Bend.

Great Bend is part of a coalition of 14 smaller cities working together to draft standards.