Call for Art—Painting Storm Drains to Promote a Cleaner River

The City of Sioux Falls Public Works Environmental Division announces the opportunity for local artists to paint five storm inlets in the downtown area. Design proposal submissions are due by Monday, May 8.

Last year, nine stormwater inlets along downtown Sioux Falls streets were painted by local organizations and artists to draw attention to the City’s storm drainage system. Designated organizations submitted approved artwork that included messages supporting water quality initiatives. A map with the sponsoring organization storm inlet assignments and photos of the artwork can be found at

“A common misconception is that storm drains lead to the sanitary sewer system and that water that flows down these drains gets treated. That’s not the case—water that flows down the storm drains actually leads directly to the Big Sioux River with little or no treatment. As the storm water washes over the pavement, it carries with it everything the water picks up. This includes litter, pollutants, pet waste, and sediment, and discharges it into the waterways. Our hope is the art on these storm drains will bring attention to their purpose and prevent some of the pollutants from being discharged into the Big Sioux,” says City of Sioux Falls Sustainability Coordinator Jessica Lantgen.

The five storm drain inlets are available for organizations or individuals to submit design proposals. The designs will be reviewed and the five winning artists will be selected by the City of Sioux Falls and the Sioux Falls Visual Arts Commission. The five winning artists will each receive $200 for their designs and painting on the inlet. To submit a design proposal, please see the Call for Art at Proposals are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, May 8.

The City is partnered with Norberg Paints, who has donated all of the supplies for the project, including a special sealant that will be applied once the paintings are complete to help keep the murals intact. The City hopes to continue this project each year to raise awareness about water quality.