Contact Information: Mary Mitros (630) 417-1004
Monday, October 3, 2022
DuPage County Stormwater Management Hosted Elmhurst Quarry Tours Saturday
In partnership with the Elmhurst History Museum, DuPage County Stormwater Management opened its Elmhurst Quarry Flood Control Facility to a sold-out crowd on Saturday. Nearly 400 people registered to get a rare, inside look at this DuPage County landmark.
During the event, attendees learned how the County uses the Quarry to manage floodwater, along with its history in the community. DuPage County Stormwater Management Committee Chairman Jim Zay highlighted the importance of the Quarry to DuPage County.
“We are continually humbled by the popularity of the Elmhurst Quarry tours,” said Zay. “The Quarry has been a part of DuPage County for several generations now, and residents have a special connection to it, whether it be family members who worked there or memories of it growing up. It makes these tours incredibly meaningful.”
The Elmhurst Quarry was founded in 1883; only a year after Elmhurst itself was incorporated. Crews quarried, and then mined, for limestone at the site for more than 100 years until it was converted into a landfill for construction debris.
Following massive flooding throughout the area in 1987 and a subsequent study of the surrounding Salt Creek Watershed, DuPage County purchased the Quarry in 1992 to use it for floodwater storage. The Quarry was then converted into a flood control facility that began functioning in 1996.
“For nearly 30 years, the Elmhurst Quarry has served as vital infrastructure, protecting thousands of homes and businesses from Salt Creek flooding,” added Zay. “We’ve also improved upon it over the years to better serve local communities, including installing high efficiency pumps to preserve energy, lowering the weir and adding an additional gate to take in more floodwater and building a viewing platform for the public to not only learn about the Quarry, but also see green infrastructure in action.”
With a capacity of 2.7 billion gallons, the Elmhurst Quarry is the largest of five mechanically operated and 12 gravity-operated flood control facilities in DuPage County. Using a predetermined operating plan, DuPage County Stormwater Management staff allow floodwater to enter the Elmhurst Quarry via a 400-foot tunnel, which runs under Illinois Route 83. The Quarry holds the floodwater until water elevations recede enough to pump the water back into Salt Creek.
During flood operations, the public may view real-time video images and rain and stream gage information at http://ec.dupageco.org/dec/stormwater/watershed/index.html.