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
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.
Date Posted: Monday, October 3, 2022