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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Joan Olson (630) 407-6015

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

DuPage County earns national award for stormwater management programs

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is pleased to grant DuPage County Stormwater Management two 2019 Achievement Awards for its Shared Services Program, which received “Best in Category” for Community and Economic Development, and its Water Quality Flag in the Children and Youth category. The awards honor top county government programs that are innovative and enhance services for their residents. 

DuPage County’s Stormwater Management Department developed its Shared Services Program to assist municipalities and townships in meeting water quality and stormwater management initiatives. DuPage entered into agreements with 41 local governments to create a countywide water quality program to meet federal regulations, specifically developing a single permit under the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program. The agreements also allow local communities to use the County’s equipment and personnel at a low cost for both scheduled and routine maintenance, ranging from spill cleanup to storm sewer televising to catch basin and storm sewer cleaning. 

“We developed our Shared Services Program after meeting with local officials to determine what they wanted from a countywide stormwater program,” said DuPage County Stormwater Management Committee Chairman Jim Zay. “This program allows the County and municipalities to partner in a manner that reduces government redundancies, protects residents from flooding and contaminated waterways and saves taxpayers’ money. I’m so pleased that not only is the program a success, but we are being recognized on a national level for it.”

DuPage was also recognized for its Water Quality Flag program, which, in partnership with a local nonprofit, SCARCE, awards local institutions who have gone above in beyond in preserving and protecting DuPage’s local waterways. Following a series of trainings and hands-on activities, DuPage County organizations can earn the flag to display at their establishment.

“The Water Quality Flag is a program unique to DuPage County, and it really grew from grassroots efforts as a way to expand our water quality education initiatives,” said Zay. “To date, we have awarded 24 flags to schools, libraries, park districts and local businesses. The number of participants and interest grows exponentially each year.”

NACo President Greg Cox said, “Counties implement innovative programs that enhance residents’ quality of life every day. This year’s Achievement Award-winning programs demonstrate how counties build healthy, safe and vibrant communities across America.”

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.

NACo will recognize award-winning counties at its 2019 Annual Conference and Exposition July 12-15 in Clark County, Nevada. 

Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.