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Storm Drain Marker Program

Environmental experts have indicated that much of the pollution in our waterways is from  stormwater runoff, which contains urban and agricultural pollutants. That means that putting trash or chemical-ridden liquids, such as motor oil or paint into the storm drains is equivalent to throwing it right into the rivers, which serve as a source of drinking water for 90 percent of Allegheny County residents.


While many organizations and municipalities have used varied storm draining marking techniques, such as stencil painting or metal markers, to warn individuals about contaminating our water resources, 3 Rivers sought an economical, yet durable storm drain marking method that would allow communities to quickly and effectively mark their storm drains.

In 2009, 3RWW custom-designed a 5-inch circular polyethylene marker with the warning, “Drains to drinking water. Please don’t dump,” and ordered 10,000 markers for distribution to about 50 communities across Allegheny County.  Municipalities used community organizations, school groups and publics works crews to apply these  UV- and abrasion-resistant markers near storm drains using a special epoxy supplied with the storm drain markers. Longevity tests on this type of marker have shown it to last much longer than more traditional painted stencils and in some cases, decades. 


As part of the program, we also supplied educational door hangers to further educate the public about the importance of not dumping in storm drains. On the back of each door hanger is a refrigerator magnet that mirrors the storm drain marker to help remind residents of their responsibility in helping to protect our region’s water sources. At the bottom of the door hanger, an open space allows communities to to customize their message. 

Storm drain markers are an excellent way for communities to comply with their public engagement and education requirements outlined in municipal sewer and stormwater regulations.

They are simple, cost-effective and easy-to-implement.

Please contact 3RWW for current availability of these storm drain markers.