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Another Milwaukee winter is here! Make shoveling and de-icing your walk or driveway easier this winter by giving ice and snow somewhere to go once it melts! Keep the storm drain nearest to your house or apartment clear to allow melted snow to drain away from your property, preventing it from becoming a dangerous icy puddle when freezing temperatures hit again. Keeping the drain clear and frozen puddles at bay also helps protect your wallet. Instead of spending more money on salt to melt that ice a second time, it will drain away with only the investment of a little time.
Finding Your Drain
Visit the interactive map at the Adopt Your Drain website (www.AdoptYourDrain.com) to find the storm drain nearest to your home. Make sure you step outside and take a look at it before we get hit with heavy snows; at some point this winter it will likely be buried under a snow pile so identifying a nearby landmark now will help you find it again later. Save yourself from the hassle of trying to find it the first time when it’s hiding under a layer of plowed, compacted snow and ice!
Maintaining Your Drain
Make sure to routinely check your drains for ice, snow, or debris. Maintaining a clean and clear storm drain is most effective when work is done on a routine basis. Regularly checking and cleaning your storm drain will allow it to function at full capacity, creating smaller debris loads and reducing the risk of flooding, icing, and pollution.
Why You Should Care
As mentioned above, blocked drains are a safety issue, since they can lead to slippery sidewalks and roads. Also, clogged drains increase the chance for runoff pollution. Frozen or liquid water that sits on the street can pick up contaminants from cars, salt from the ground, and nutrients from pet waste and sitting leaves. Depending on where you are in the city, that water may run directly into the nearest river once it is able to go down the storm drain, so the more pollutants we can keep out of it, the better!
As you’re performing routine drain inspections in order to protect the lakes, streams, and rivers that we’ll be able to enjoy again in the warmer months, think about other ways you can help to protect these natural amenities in the spring! If you’ve noticed any flooding or pooling issues on your property, consider planning/investing in green infrastructure strategies like rain gardens and rain barrels. And don’t forget to register the storm drain that you’ve been caring for all winter long at www.AdoptYourDrain.org!
For More Information:
Adopt Your Drain: To register and adopt your storm drain, go to www.adoptyourdrain.com/
Adopt Your Drain Dashboard: To record your inspections and track you and your community’s progress, go to www.respectourwaters.org/ayd-dashboard
Rain Gardens: To learn about the benefits of a rain garden and how to design them, go to www.respectourwaters.org/add-a-rain-garden-swwt
Respect Our Waters: To learn more about the other ways you can protect your watershed, go to www.respectourwaters.org/home-swwt
Sweet Water: To learn more about the work that Sweet Water does, go to www.swwtwater.org/
600 E Greenfield Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53204