The Adopt-a-Drain program allows local citizens or organizations to “adopt” a storm drain to help protect their nearby drains from unwanted debris, pollutants or blockages.
This program helps to ensure neighborhood drainage systems work as efficiently as possible by keeping the surface of drains clear of leaves and litter debris blockages, which simultaneously protects water quality. Adopt now!
The familiar phrase “of the people, by the people, for the people” comes from Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address. It describes democracy as a system grounded in citizenship and public participation. The path to resilience is similar in the sense that we are all stakeholders and, therefore, have a role to play. Each of us can reduce or prevent flooding in our own way.
One way is by clearing debris and litter from entry points to storm drains. These pollutants can build up and prohibit stormwater from properly flowing off of streets and sidewalks, ultimately resulting in flooding. In addition, clearing debris helps to prevent unnecessary nutrients in the form of leaves, yard debris and fertilizers from contaminating waterways.
Join the Initiative
Within a few short steps from your home or business, a storm drain is likely in need of your support. Anyone can adopt! Individuals, families, businesses, schools, and organizations of all types such as churches, clubs and sports teams, who feel they can effectively and reasonably monitor a drain.
Benefits of Adopting a Storm Drain
Help Reduce or Prevent Flooding Clogged storm drain inlets can cause or worsen flooding. Keeping drains free of debris will help water drain properly.
Help Protect Our Waterways from Pollution Stormwater flows to waterways untreated and is the #1 contributor of pollution to our waters. By keeping litter and pollutants out of storm drains you are helping protect the area's water bodies.
Help Keep Your Neighborhood Clean and Free of Litter Set a positive example by being an active steward of your neighborhood.
A drain in need of adopting
It's Easy! Here's How It Works
1 - 2 - 3!
Monitor the adopted drain weekly and remove debris on and around the drain as needed- particularly before a rain or storm event if it is safe to do so.
Clear debris within the curb area several yards along each side of the storm drain, especially an uphill side where debris will likely flow towards the drain.
Report your efforts to let us know you have inspected and/or serviced your drain by periodically submitting a simple “Field Inspection Report” (mobile friendly!) Learn More about reporting.
It is a great way to show neighborhood pride and responsibility in helping to protect water quality, manage stormwater, and minimize flooding!
Clogged Drain (before adoption and cleaning)
Clean Drain (after adoption and cleaning)
"A drain can be cleared one day, and blocked by leaves or litter the next.
With thousands of these inlets throughout the city, crews are in a never-ending battle to keep the storm drains clean, and can use all the help they can get."
Leaves and Litter are On-The-Move!
Leaves and litter move easily in slight wind and flowing water.
While storm drains undergo intense routine cleaning by City maintenance crews, (such as using Vacuum Trucks to clear sediment and debris that enters), you can help bridge the gap between routine maintenance by helping to prevent debris from entering drains to begin with and ensuring stormwater can flow into drains easily.
Ready to get started? CLICK HERE To Adopt a Drain Today!
For those interested in joining the initiative or already participating in their own neighborhoods, the Adopt-A-Drain Pilot Project offers additional resources for personal safety, tips on inspecting and cleaning a drain, and forums to report issues. Your safety and enjoyment are important to us. All volunteers are urged to participate in a safe, courteous and legal manner while participating in activities on City property or the City rights-of-way. All volunteers must follow the guidelines when volunteering in order to promote a successful Storm Drain Adoption experience and to protect the safety of the volunteer.
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