Storm Drain Marking Program


Storm drains are infrastructure designed to drain excess rainfall runoff from streets and other impervious surfaces. Located in curbs and low-lying areas, storm drains carry runoff in ditches and underground pipes directly to local streams, rivers, and lakes. Because the water is untreated, any pollutant entering a storm drain is discharged directly into the environment. Pollutants, such as litter, oils, paints, and pesticides can end up in storm drains when people dispose of them improperly. The University has over 1700 storm drains on its main campus. These drain to the Town Branch, Wolf Run, and West Hickman watersheds.

Storm drain marking is an educational program designed to inform the campus population about the problems caused by dumping pollutants into storm drains. It involves labeling a storm drain inlet with a plaque or medallion warning individuals not to dump pollutants into the drain.

By installing storm drain markers, you can take an active role in helping the University prevent stormwater pollution.


Marking Storm Drains

Environmental Quality Management will provide you and/or your group with free storm drain marking supplies. Each kit contains:

  • Watershed appropriate UK markers
  • Adhesive
  • Wire Brushes
  • Nitrile Gloves
  • Safety Vests
  • Shop Towels

To mark a drain, you will need to use the included supplies to clean the curbing of any dirt/debris, apply adhesive to the back of the medallion/badge, press firmly to adhere the badge to the curb, and clear away any excess adhesive. This video explains the process:

Detailed instructions are also included with each kit. The optimum location to mark a drain is on the curb, located behind the drain as this prevents snow plowing/clearing activities from removing the marker.


How to Participate

Have an interest in marking storm drains or represent a class or group that wants to get involved? Simply use the map below to view the storm drains on campus that need to be marked, select the area of campus where you would like to volunteer, and determine the number of drains you are interested in marking. With this information in mind, fill out our web based Storm Drain Marking Program Application Form



Once the application is received you will be contacted by a member of Environmental Quality Management regarding marking materials, instructions/training, and to answer any questions you may have. If you are a faculty member with a class or a group of individuals that would like to participate in the drain marking program, classroom instruction/in-person training is available. Please let us know if you are interested in the comments section of the application form. Please remember when scheduling your event/activity that temperatures need to be between 40° - 90° F for the adhesive to set properly and it must be dry for the adhesive to stick. It is highly encouraged that you set a rain date should the weather not be appropriate on your chosen marking day. All remaining materials will need to be returned upon completion of your drain marking activity.


Storm Drain Assessment Survey

As part of the Drain Marking Program we ask that you complete a Storm Drain Assessment Survey during your drain marking activities. This allows the University to get an accurate inventory of all marked storm drains and assess the condition of each drain at the time of marking.  Using your smartphone or WiFi enabled device you will select the storm drain to be marked from our Storm Drain Marking Map, open the inspection form, and complete the fields. Access to the Storm Drain Marking Map as well as the Drain Assessment Survey is discussed in detail in these instructions as well as our Drain Marking video. This process will be discussed in more detail once your application for drain marking has been reviewed. 


Illicit Discharge Reporting

You may encounter an illicit discharge – something other than rainwater going down a storm drain – while you are participating in the drain marking program. If you do, please report it using the storm drain field map or our illicit discharge report form. 
Likewise, if you see work practices on campus that have the potential to impact stormwater and protective measures don’t seem to be in place, let us know. Future reports can be made by selecting the Report an Illicit Discharge button on any of the Water Quality pages.  Visit our Illicit Discharge section to learn more about what an illicit discharge is and how to identify the most common ones on campus.