Adopt-A-Drain Pilot Program
What is Adopt-A-Drain?
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UF/IFAS Extension is partnering with Pinellas County to offer a new program designed to reduce the amount of pollutants reaching our waterways.
Adopt-A-Drain partners with residents in Pinellas County to increase the functionality of area storm drains to ensure they are free of litter and debris, and marked with storm drain markers. Residents of this program will also help by reporting illicit discharges (putting anything other than water down the drain), and ultimately helping to improve water quality. Learn more and sign-up for this pilot program.
What is a storm drain?
We might be able to point to a storm drain, but do we really know what purpose they serve? Simply put, storm drains receive water from a storm event (also known as stormwater) and drains it away from the road to a nearby water body. Stormwater is rainfall that does not seep into the ground but runs off over our yards, streets, parking lots, and buildings. As the rainwater travels across these areas, it can pick up a lot of sediment and pollutants, contributing to large amounts of polluted stormwater. To prevent flooding, streets are often lined with storm drains to quickly move stormwater off the pavement.
Once the water enters the storm drain, underground pipes channel the stormwater directly to a nearby water body. Anything entering a storm drain will travel through the pipe system and drain directly into a nearby water body with no advanced treatment. Keep in mind that in Florida, the stormwater system is totally separate from the sewer system. The sewer and storm drain pipes do not connect. Sewage gets treated at a local wastewater treatment facility. To learn more about stormwater, view an on-demand informative 4-minute video, "Get Your Mind in the Gutter" presented by UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County.