Storm Drain Stenciling

When was the last time you noticed the local storm drain on your street? Many towns and cities in Wisconsin (and elsewhere) have storm drains along streets and within parking lots. These drains help remove storm water that might otherwise accumulate on these impervious surfaces and cause flooding. They almost always lead directly to local waterways, including streams, rivers and lakes without being treated to remove pollutants. Because storm water travels across streets, driveways, yards, or parking lots before entering a drain, it can accumulate contaminants such as oil, antifreeze, gasoline, soil, litter, pet waste, yard care chemicals, and yard waste.

If runoff from only one yard entered a local waterway through the storm drain, water quality might not be affected very much. However, when runoff from hundreds or thousands of yards or parking lots enters a waterway, the effect on water quality is more significant. Cumulative effects of polluted storm water from one community can cause beach closings, excessive aquatic plant growth, or degraded water quality which can affect fish and others aquatic organisms' survival.

What can be done to educate others about stormwater runoff?

You can help educate others about the fate of storm water runoff through our storm drains by stenciling a message next to storm drains in your local area. Stencils and handouts which inform others about storm drains and stenciling are available free of charge to groups or individuals in Wisconsin.

Already completed a stenciling project?

We want to hear about it! Fill out this online form or print this report form (8K pdf *) and mail to Martha Martin, 445 Henry Mall, Rm 202, Madison, WI 53706-1289.

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