Storm Drain Stenciling/Marking

Storm Drain Stenciling 

Anything flushed down a storm drain is not treated before it enters a waterbody. This means that wastes on the streets and sidewalks go directly into a nearby waterbody, and not a wastewater treatment plant. Lake County’s 400 miles of streams drain into some 170 lakes and rivers throughout 480 square miles of the county.

Polluted runoff harm’s our waterways where we fish, swim, and obtain our drinking water.

Storm drain marking is a great way to make people in your community more aware of nonpoint source pollution and polluted runoff. Storm drain marking serves as an educational tool to remind people about the connection between storm drains and local water resources.

Guide to Storm Drain Marking: Preventing Water Pollution in Your Community

How-to guide for municipalities and community groups interested in starting a Storm Drain Marking Program (PDF)

Program Opportunities 

While educational in nature, storm drain stenciling directly and indirectly involves the public in the prevention of non-point source pollution; those citizens involved in stenciling activities as well as those citizens who spot and are able to identify stenciled drains as stormwater drains.

Stenciling kits will be made available, for loan, at the SMC office. Stenciling kits may contain the following items:

  • Storm drain stencils;
  • Door hanger cards or flyers;
  • Map of stenciling area(s);
  • Parent or guardian permission slips;
  • Letter or authorization from Public Works to stencil;
  • Traffic zone latex spray paint (note: one can = about ten drains);
  • Wire brush and whisk broom to clean grate before painting;
  • Work gloves and safety goggles for kids;
  • Traffic safety vests and cones;
  • Garbage bags (one for wet stencils and one for litter);
  • A large open box to shield against drifting overspray; and
  • Clean up rags.

Implementation & Monitoring Schedule:

The implementation of storm drain stenciling will be pursued according to the following schedule:

  • Year 1: Approve the public participation activity described above.
  • Year 2: Begin the creation of a list of community groups, service organizations, home owner associations and youth groups to conduct stenciling projects. Begin to identify and record stenciling locations suitable for the safety of all volunteers. Create storm drain stenciling kits. Create pollutant-tracking forms.
  • Year 3: Begin a training program for group leaders. Stencil a portion of the city’s storm drains. Year 4: Stencil additional storm drains.
  • Year 5: If necessary, re-stencil the drains stenciled in year three.