May 15, 2019

Storm Drain Program Hopes to Prevent Water Pollution

A new program urges Minnesota residents to adopt a storm drain to protect neighborhoods against flooding

A new program urges Minnesota residents to adopt a storm drain to protect neighborhoods against flooding

A new program from Adopt-a-Drain has began in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metro area of Minnesota that encourages residents to adopt a storm drain. According to the White Bear Press, the goal is to help prevent water pollution through volunteer action. Those in the area can join other “adopters” by volunteering to keep local storm drains clear of litter, leaves or anything that would pollute waterways.

According to White Bear Press, you can adopt a drain by going to the company’s website and using the map to find nearby storm drains. Waste collected can be disposed of by separating it into three categories and placing it in the appropriate receptacles. Adopt-a-Drain also encourages those to protect street flooding by clearing snow and ice buildup around storm drains so water can flow freely.

Storm drain adopters reported last year that they collected a total of 35,562 lb of debris that would have washed into lakes or the Mississippi River, according to White Bear Press.

The nonprofit was developed by Metro Watershed Partners, a coalition that works to protect water quality in communities. According to White Bear Press, Partners share stories of Minnesotans protecting water at their website and also meet to share resources and develop skills.

A staff member at Hamline University who has played a lead role in developing Adopt-a-Drain, Jana Larson, claims that Minnesota’s program is the largest in the nation. According to White Bear Press, other cities are piloting similar programs, including Houston, Oakland, and New Orleans.

Minnesota is the only program that includes more than one city and has more volunteers signed up than in any other location, according to White Bear Press. “People really become attached to their drains,” Larson said to White Bear Press. “Many have even named them.”

For more information on the program, visit Adopt-a-Drain’s website here.

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