Hunt for the Golden Stencil

TRUCKEE, Calif. – The Town of Truckee has launched a competition to educate the public on how the storm drain system works. Participants must be one of the first to find a golden stencil painted on one of the Town’s storm drains.

Storm drain stencils label a storm drain inlet with messages warning citizens not to dump polluting materials into the stormwater system. This is extremely important because the system of ditches and pipes is directly connected to local waterbodies. There is no advanced treatment facility at the end of each pipe and ditch. So, if you don’t want to swim in it, don’t dump in it.

“Our goal with the golden stencil contest is to raise public awareness of the threat to our watershed by illicit discharges. Many people living and visiting our area believe that the stormwater is filtered before discharging into Donner Lake or the Truckee River. This is not the case. We hope that by raising public awareness through the golden stencil contest, we can prevent these incidents and protect the clean water we value so highly,” a press release from the Town said.

The golden stencil will be painted on one of Downtown Truckee’s many storm drain inlets. If you find the golden stencil, take a picture of the storm drain and send an email to

The first three emails received, with the correct location and a clear picture, will receive some cool prizes. Good luck with the hunt and spread the word: only rain and snow down the storm drain.

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