Adopt-A-Drain FAQs

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Adopt-A-Drain Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often am I required to clean the storm drains?
A: There is no requirement on how frequently the storm drains should be cleaned, but we recommend weekly monitoring and debris removal during the months of October through March.

Q: Can schools, churches, and businesses adopt drains?
A: Yes. Schools, churches, businesses, and other organizations are welcome to participate in our Adopt-A-Drain Program as a way to promote community service in their neighborhoods.

Q: What supplies and support will the City provide if I adopt a drain(s)?
A: The City loans out kits to volunteers consisting of basic tools for removing debris. It is the responsibility of the adopter to arrange for picking up the kit prior to the commitment and returning the kit upon completion of the project. The following tools are provided:

  • Safety equipment – Reflective vests and gloves
  • Tools - Litter pick-up claw
  • Leaf litter container

Q: How do I dispose of the litter that I have collected?
A: As an Adopt-A-Drain volunteer you are encouraged to dispose of the leaves in your home compost piles or yard waste cart. It has been determined that, under most circumstances, contaminants such as gas or oil should not be an issue when composting leaf litter. You can also contact Surface Water & Environmental Services at (206) 801-2450 to request pick-up service if alternative disposal options are not available to you.

Q: Do you provide insurance for volunteers?
A: Yes. Volunteers performing within the scope of their assigned duties as authorized by the City are afforded the same coverage as City employees under the City’s liability coverage with Washington Cities Insurance Authority. Each volunteer must fill out a volunteer service agreement and report hours for work performed.

Q: What do I do if I find a syringe or animal carcass while maintaining my adopted storm drain/s?
A: If you come across a hazardous item such as a syringe or animal carcass in the right-of-way, do not touch it and contact Surface Water & Environmental Services at (206) 801-2450 to have City staff remove and properly dispose of it.

Q: What do I do if I see oil, paint, or other suspicious substance spilled near a storm drain or being dumped into one?
A: Only rain water is permitted down the storm drains. Anything else can harm wildlife and the environment. If you see a spill or something being dumped into a drain, you can report it by calling (206) 801-2700, and the City will respond.