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. More than 500 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 improvements to the tour since it was last
held in 2015.
“Leading up to this tour, we looked at ways we could enhance the experience for our audience, which prompted us to add information about water quality, geology and green infrastructure,” said Zay. “Not to mention, we recently finished construction of
a viewing platform on the east side of the Quarry that can be utilized by the public. We’re very excited to open it today.”
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 clean construction debris.
“The Elmhurst Quarry has been a part of DuPage County for several generations, and residents have a very special connection to it, which makes these tours incredibly meaningful,” said Zay. “Because of the tremendous interest in it, we expanded the tour
from 2015, nearly doubling the number of participants.”
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 flood storage. The Quarry was then converted into a flood control facility
that began functioning in 1996.
With a capacity of 2.7 billion gallons, the Elmhurst Quarry is the largest of five mechanically operated and 11 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: Friday, October 6, 2017