Adopt a Storm Drain

Photo of a man raking leaves

Join volunteers across the city to keep your local storm drains clear to reduce flooding and protect waterways.

You can help:

  • Prevent flooding in your neighborhood by keeping drains free of debris.
  • Prevent pollutants from entering streams, creeks, and Puget Sound, which protects fish and other wildlife.
  • Help the city maintain our infrastructure, especially during fall months when rain increases and falling leaves block drains.


How to Find a Storm Drain

Photo of a drain with labels

There are several types of storm drains. Most drains are located next to the curb and have a metal grate to prevent debris from falling in. They can be rectangular or circular. Storm drains are often stenciled with text such as:

  • Dump No Waste. Drains to Stream, Lake or Bay.
  • Only Rain Down the Drain. Puget Sound Starts Here


Safety Guidelines

Photo of water flowing into a drain

Keep your nearby storm drain clear of leaves and debris to help prevent ponding and flooding. There are over 33,000 storm drains in the city, so we really appreciate customers taking care of the drain in front of their home.

  • If possible, clear the drain before it starts raining.
  • Stand on the curb when clearing drains, not in the street. We only ask you to clean curbside storm drains. Please don't clear drains on major streets and arterials.
  • Only clean the top of the storm drain. Don't lift the grate.
  • Wear gloves and always use a broom or rake to clear the drain. Never use your hands to move debris.
  • Use a dustpan, shovel, or a trash can lid to pick up debris.
  • Put excess leaves the from parking strip into the yard waste container or paper lawn & leaf bags and set out for collection. (In November, SPU collects 10 extra bags for free.)
  • Put grimy street leaves, trash, and other debris into the garbage.
  • Avoid items that have the potential to be hazardous or cause injury by calling (206) 386-1800 to report a problem.

Clear your drain only if it is safe. If the drain is still clogged after you've removed the surface debris, use our Drain Report Form or call our drainage problem hotline at (206) 386-1800 to report it.


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