Storm Drain Marking

Did you know that the Great Lakes are the biggest freshwater source in the world? Lake Erie is the most productive for fishing of all the Great Lakes. Your support helps make our streams clean, clear and healthy so they can support this complex ecosystem. By donating to PCS, you help us reach our goals of restoring rivers that lead to Lake Erie beaches that promote fishable and swimmable conditions for generations.

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As part of the Give Water a Hand Campaign, we connect municipalities, citizens, and active volunteers together to protect our drinking water. Throughout late spring and summer, volunteers mark storm drains with the phrase "Drains are for Rain, Flows to Waterway" and pass out educational materials in local neighborhoods where citizens are enabled to protect their local waterways.  Marking storm drains is a powerful way to educate people about the possible water contamination during the misuse of storm drains. Any water that enters a storm drain goes straight into the nearest ditch, creek, stream, or river untreated. PCS coordinates with local municipalities regarding when and where volunteer groups can mark drains around a neighborhood in the greater Toledo-area. 

Storm drains take in water from streets and other paved areas. These surfaces could include parking lots, roads, sidewalks, basketball courts, or any other paved area with a drain. Storm drains allow water to run off these surfaces quickly through pipes and to the nearest waterway to prevent flooding. Anything on those surfaces (antifreeze, oil, paint) has the potential of going directly into our rivers. It is crucial to prevent hazardous contaminants from getting into our waterways.

Typically, the kick off day for Storm Drain Marking is on Global Youth Service Day in April every spring, with the potential for continuing throughout the summer. Storm Drain Marking can be done whenever it is warm, dry weather. Dates are flexible for your group. Past groups have included multiple youth groups such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, youth clubs, church groups, and more  Everyone is welcome to participate but this program is recommended for volunteers ages 10 and up. All equipment and training is provided. To participate, contact our office so we can arrange a location and time for your group. You will most likely be grouped with a local jurisdiction at a convenient time for you. We look forward to your help in sharing the message about storm drains and pollution!


Partners for Clean Streams Inc. is striving for abundant open space and a high quality natural environment; adequate floodwater storage capacities and flourishing wildlife; stakeholders who take local ownership in their resources; and rivers, streams and lakes that are clean, clear and safe