Keep your stormdrains for rain only by removing leaves and other debris in the spring, summer, and fall months.
- Participate in the Stormdrain Sidewalk Drawing Competition! Click here for details and rules.
- Volunteer with HRWC’s Adopt-A-Stormdrain program to help keep our lakes, rivers, and streams free of runoff pollution. Sign up now! The program will be limited to neighborhood streets having a speed limit of 25 mph or less.
Anyone can adopt a stormdrain!
- Property and home owners
- Conservation organizations
- Scouting programs
- College students
- Concerned citizens
As an adopter you will:
- Label stormdrain inlets with a marker or stencil warning citizens not to dump pollutants into your stormdrain.
- Remove and dispose of leaves and garbage from the drain opening weekly (April through December). Leaves and sticks can be composted or bagged for pick-up by your community compost program. Recyclables and garbage should be disposed of through your recycling and garbage collection programs.
- Call the respective authorities to report if the drain appears to be clogged or broken.
- Report illegal dumping (dumping waste or other pollutants) in the drain by calling the MDNRE Pollution Emergency Alert System 800-922-4706.
- Keep the Adopt-A-Stormdrain program informed of your efforts by giving us updates once in the spring and once in the fall.
The Adopt-A-Stormdrain program will provide you with:
A kit for check-out that contains any tools or equipment you may need.
- Stormdrain marking/stenciling kit
- Rake, shovel, dustpan
- Trash bags
- Safety vest
- Educational resources
- An inspection checklist
Take care that you DO NOT:
- Remove the grate from the drain opening.
- Remove dead animals. Instead call animal control.
- Remove hazardous materials like syringes. Call 9-1-1 to notify.
- Leave bags with raked leaves near the drain.
- Complete HRWC’s First Time Volunteer Form if you have never worked with HRWC
- Submit our Adopt-A-Stormdrain Sign Up Form (include the location of your stormdrain)
- Get confirmation from HRWC along with instructions and resources
- Once your adoption is confirmed, give us a status update on how your stormdrain(s) is doing
Adopt-A-Stormdrain Further Resources
- Find available program forms (sign up, reporting, request for supplies, release/waiver) HERE!
- Report your Adoption! After you work on your stormdrain, tell HRWC that you did it.
- Check out a map of the stormdrains that volunteers have adopted.
What is the stormdrain connection.
We depend on stormdrains and sewers, drainage ditches and culverts to keep our streets from flooding during storms. Yet, these devices also direct polluted and untreated rainwater straight into our local waterways.
Over 50% of the pollution that impacts our water supply occurs when rains or snowmelts — called runoff — wash over land and carry contaminants from our everyday activities into the nearest waterway. Things like phosphorus in lawn fertilizers, pesticides, spilled household cleaners or auto fluids, pet waste, road salt, and more, qualify as pollutants.
Much of an urban stream’s water comes directly from roads and sidewalks. HRWC’s Adopt-A-Stormdrain program is an effort to restore urban and suburban streams by encouraging residents to act as river stewards, right in their own neighborhoods!
Why adopt a stormdrain?
Adopting a stormdrain benefits both the river and our local neighborhoods. You will help keep our communities litter-free and more attractive. You will also prevent garbage, leaves, and debris from entering our local waterways through our stormwater drainage systems.
Communities with residents who care for their stormdrains have reduced the occurrence of illegal dumping and prevent substances such as oil, grease, and car soap from entering our rivers.
What else can you do?
From disposing of prescription drugs through a ”take back” program or choosing phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer, to picking up pet waste or maintaining your septic system, there are many ways to make a difference. Here are a few of our favorites.