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Want to prevent flooding in your neighborhood? You can adopt a drain

Hundreds of volunteers have adopted drains and promised to keep them clean and unclogged to prevent storm water and snow melt puddles.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — When it rains so hard and fast like it did Tuesday, there is always flooding, especially in low lying areas.

Clogged storm drains and catch basins contribute to the problem.

Adopt-A-Drain was organized to help municipalities in the Lower Grand River Basin keep drains unclogged so rain water and snow melt can flow into nearby waterways. 

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Staff at Adopt-A-Drain say over 400 people have logged onto their website and adopted drains, volunteering to keep them clear.

“Adopt a drain near your home or place of business, and you are responsible for volunteering to make sure that drain is clean,” explains Storm Water Program Coordinator Cara Decker.

“I have adopted two drains,” says James Wilfong. “I got tired of walking through water. I get a little rake and I rake it up and put it into a shovel, put it into a bag and I toss it. Maybe once a month.”

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Although several hundred people have adopted drains, there are tens of thousands in the Lower Grand River Basin. Anyone interested in volunteering can visit the website to find one nearby.

“We are minimizing local localized flooding,” explains Decker. “And then we are also cleaning up some of the trash on top of our catch basins and making sure it doesn’t make its way to our local waterways where it could impact water quality. It is really important.”


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