Do you have a storm drain near your home? Maintaining them is important, as they are part of the city’s overall drainage system that helps get extra water off the road as quickly as possible.

When autumn in the Pacific Northwest begins, that means rain will be more prevalent. When that happens, it’s common for storm drains to get clogged with fallen leaves, mulch, grass clippings, and even trash or other debris. If the drain gets clogged, that can mean street flooding.

Here are some helpful tips on how to keep the storm drains near your home free and clear to work the way they’re intended to.

The Portland area has thousands of grated storm drains throughout the city. They are also known as catch basins and serve as the entryway from city streets to the sewer system or stormwater facility.

There are Consequences to Clogged Storm Drains

Did you know that storm drains often empty right into creeks? So, be sure that if you see debris or other items that could clog the drain, pick it up right away. Never put oil or pet waste or any other hazardous material into a drain. Instead, dispose of these materials right away, either by putting them in the trash or recycling any aluminum or plastic that you find.

If trash or other harmful debris ends up in the water, this can damage wildlife in local area streams, creeks, and rivers.

In addition, the water can flood intersections, making traveling on city streets dangerous. The water can also flood local area homes, which could cause homeowners thousands of dollars if not dealt with right away.

Tips on How to Keep Storm Drains Clean

Use a rake or pitchfork to clear limbs, leaves, and other debris from the drain. Don’t try to remove the grate. The best time to inspect the drain near your property is before a rainstorm. If your Portland area meteorologist is predicting a heavy storm with a lot of rain or ice, be sure to go out and inspect the storm drain beforehand. After the storm is over, maintain the openings well by clearing away any ice or other excess debris that has accumulated.

If you inspect the drain and notice that there is debris or other objects under the grate that you cannot clear by yourself, contact the city and notify them that additional help is required.

Meet the Author
Brandon Bird
Brandon Bird

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