Water pollution after a rain storm, known as stormwater runoff pollution, is one of the greatest threats to our region’s waterways. This occurs when rain or melted snow flows over watertight surfaces, such as driveways, sidewalks, and streets. Rather than naturally soaking into the earth, this runoff picks up litter, chemicals, and other pollutants on its way into storm drains. It is then discharged on occasion into the waterways we use for swimming, fishing, drinking water and more.
It’s important that we each do our part to keep our neighborhood clean and healthy!
Many people have no idea that storm drains flow to local waterways and unfortunately, many people use them as their personal trash can. Since Philly gets all of its drinking water from local rivers and creeks, it’s extremely important for everyone to do their part and keep the inlets free of litter, pet waste, and harmful chemicals. Did you know, there are roughly 75,000 inlets throughout the city of Philadelphia?
Since 2006, PDE has been partnering with the Philadelphia Water Department to provide materials to volunteers to mark the storm drains with educational medallions. These storm drain markers remind people that some inlets lead directly to local streams; others lead to treatment plants, but overflow into streams when it rains heavily. They help to discourage dumping trash, chemicals, and other waste down the drains. With so many storm drains across the city, we could use your help!
We can provide individuals, small groups, and community organizations in Philadelphia with kits to mark their storm drain inlets. Each kit includes enough supplies to mark 15 inlets: an instruction booklet, safety vest, adhesive, wire brush, “Keep it clean!” medallions (personalized to your watershed), and educational tip cards.
All supplies are FREE, and it’s easy to volunteer. First, decide how many inlets you want to mark during a particular event. Each kit contains enough supplies to mark 15 inlets, which takes 2-3 volunteers roughly 30-45 minutes to complete. Then, fill out the online registration form to tell us where you want to install; only one person per team needs to register. Supplies may be limited based on your watershed. Kits can be picked up at numerous sites around Philadelphia, including various environmental centers. On the registration form, select the site that is most convenient for you for pick up. After submitting the form, you will be contacted by a PDE staff member with arrangements for how to receive your kit.
On the day of your marking event, you will use your provided check-in code to sign into your event on the Marking App. This will tell you exactly which inlets are assigned to your event and let you update the inlets after you have marked them. It’s incredibly important that you mark only the drains assigned to you, unless there’s a safety concern, so the city can accurately track which drains have been marked. After completing your project, please return signed copies of the Volunteer Release and Waiver to your contact at PDE via email. If unforeseen circumstances arise, and you don’t mark the storm drains as planned, please return the kit back to the location where you picked it up.
Thank you for your interest in the Storm Drain Marking Program and we appreciate your help in keeping our waterways clean! Please direct any questions to Chesa Blom at email@example.com.
Check out our series of storm drain marking videos to see step by step instructions on how to install the storm drain markers and how to use the PWD Marking App to view your assigned inlets and updated them when marked!
The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is happy to use its bulk-purchasing power to help municipalities save money while, at the same time, satisfying their MS4 requirements. If interested in purchasing ‘Drains to Creek’ or ‘Drains to River’ medallions, please email Chesa Blom at firstname.lastname@example.org.