Beginning in 2014, the Adopt-A-Drain program was started in St. Paul with the support from Capitol Region Watershed District and Hamline University. The program was developed in an effort to reduce the amount of debris and harmful pollutants from entering local waters through storm drains. Now this program is the biggest Adopt-A-Drain effort in the country. See the Adopt-a-Drain MN website for more details.
Storm drains flow directly into our local lakes, rivers, and wetlands, and act as a channel for trash and organic pollutants. The Adopt-A-Drain program asks residents to adopt a storm drain in their neighborhood and commit to keeping it clear of trash, leaves, and other debris to prevent water pollution.
Why it Matters
In the Metro area, every storm drain flows into a local water body. When natural debris (leaves, grass clippings, fertilizer, and pet waste) enter storm drains, they become pollution when they reach the water. As these natural pollutants break down, they feed algae causing it to grow uncontrollably. When the surfaces of lakes or water bodies are covered with the green film of algae, it prevents oxygen from reaching the bottom of the water, thus choking out native plants and animals. Visit Adopt-a-Drain to learn more about how safe and easy it is to improve the health of waterways and communities by cleaning out storm drains in your neighborhood.
When you adopt a storm drain, you are preventing these harmful pollutants from entering our local water bodies. Sweeping up around your storm drain creates healthier habitats for all plants and animals that depend on these waterways.
Within Roseville, a total of 340 storm drains are adopted, with a total of 207 participants as of the end of 2022. Participants that reported their information spent 58 hours collecting 2,810 pounds of debris from their adopted storm drains in 2022. With more than 5,000 drains still available, there is still plenty of work to be done in protecting Roseville’s water bodies!
How to Adopt
Adopting a drain is easy. You can sign-up at Adopt-a-Drain, where you can create an account with your name and address to claim your storm drain. You can even give it a special name. Once you’ve signed up, Adopt-a-Drain will send you tips on how to clean up safely. When you adopt a storm drain, you become a part of the greater Adopt-a-Drain network, which invites you to share stories and pictures with your neighbors through social media, and encouraging others to take action to protect local waters.
Keeping Your Drain Clean
Once you have adopted a drain, be sure to regularly check on it. By volunteering fifteen minutes, twice a month, we can contribute to cleaner waterways and healthier communities.
Here are some tips and guidelines on how to properly care for your drain:
- Sweep or rake up leaves, grass clippings, dirt, trash, and salt from the area around the drain. Leaves and grass clippings can be treated as yard waste, but anything else must be thrown in the trash.
- Be sure to recycle anything possible (plastic, aluminum, glass, or steel cans).
- Try to check and sweep around your storm drain before a large predicted rainfall event, as this prevents the built up debris from getting washed into local waters.
- Make sure to care for your drain year round, with special care in the fall to sweep leaves around the drain, and in the winter to sweep away road salts.
It is also important to document the estimated quantity of debris you collect from the storm drain on your online account. This data informs the annual reports on the collective impact we’ve had on local water bodies through the Adopt-a-Drain program. Help Roseville become a top performer in the program!
While caring for your storm drain, please put safety first. Never lift or remove the covers of the drains or reach directly into them.