Storm Drain Medallions: A Simple Environmental Service Project with Lasting Impact

Jun 29 2018

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You can help keep our waterways clean and healthy.

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Are you looking to make a difference for the environment and your community? Protect local waterways and educate your fellow community members with the Storm Drain Medallion Project from SCARCE. We provide the tools and guidance to help you make a difference.

storm drain medallion


What does a storm drain medallion project look like?

Storm drain medallions are markers that can be adhered to the curb of a storm drain. They educate readers not to dump waste of any kind down storm drains as they connect directly to our rivers, streams, and lakes.*  Many people are unaware that water from storm drains does not get filtered or treated before being released into local waterways.  By installing storm drain medallions, you can help prevent the pollution of our water and educate your fellow community members.

Only rainwater should go down storm drains – dumping of any other waste is illegal by the Federal Clean Water Act and should be reported to your local municipality. Hazardous or potentially life-threatening spills should be reported by calling 911.

*Notably, the city of Chicago, and other old, large cities across the U.S., are an exception with their combined sewer systems. Learn the difference between combined and separated sewer systems in this great video from the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinatti.


Who can apply to run a storm drain medallion project?

SCARCE has storm drain medallions and installation materials available for free to DuPage County residents high school age or older that would like to run a project in their community. We’ve worked with Eagle Scouts, student clubs, honors classes, village environmental committees, civic groups, libraries and more. We do require at least one adult, such as a teacher, parent, or scout leader to oversee the project.

How long does the project take? Does it cost anything?

The project is quite simple! If only installing a few markers, your storm drain medallion project could take as little a few hours of active time to plan and install. Of course, you do have to plan ahead and apply through SCARCE to lead a project in your community but we want to make this process as fast and simple as possible.

As for cost, this project is FREE! Thanks to a grant from the DuPage Foundation, SCARCE will provide medallions and all the materials needed for installation free of charge to approved projects in DuPage County. There is a cash deposit  to cover tools loaned out for the installation. The deposit is returned once we receive the tools and a brief follow-up project summary with photos is submitted. Materials must be picked up from SCARCE and the cash deposit must be provided at that time.

How many medallions may I apply for?

This project is for smaller-scale installations from as few as 1 to as many as 20. However, we may be able to provide more depending on the scope of your project and the organizations involved. We are happy to work with you and provide guidance as needed.

What am I required to do by leading a project?

All we ask for is a cash deposit for the installation tools (returned upon receipt) and a quick Final Project Summary that includes photos, and the final number of medallions and participants in your project as well as the locations of the installed markers.

All in all, the Storm Drain Medallion Project is a great activity that is simple to do and has a lasting impact. Apply today!

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Still have questions? Review the application and then contact us for more info.

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