Storm Drain Care

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) offers three great ways that you can help reduce pollution and flooding in your neighborhood.

Adopt a Drain

Photo of a drain with labels

Most storm drains are in or next to the curb or edge of the street. They have a metal grate to prevent people and debris from falling in. They can be rectangular or circular. Volunteers can adopt drains next to a curb. This work reduces water ponding and pollution.

Sign up to adopt a storm drain near your home or work. By registering, you commit to keeping the drain surface clear of leaves and other debris year-round. Maintaining storm drains to protects water quality, prevents flooding in your neighborhood, and helps maintain our City's infrastructure. View additional Adopt a Drain information or contact us at or at (206) 386-9139.


Stencil a Storm Drain

Photo of preparations for stenciling

SPU can provide you with free storm drain stencil kits. You and/or your organization can paint a stencil next to a neighborhood storm drain with the message:

  • Dump No Waste
  • Drains to Stream, Lake or Bay

Most storm drains go directly into the nearest stream, lake or Puget Sound. A stenciled drain reminds you and your neighbors that what goes into the drain will end up in the local waterway. When people know it’s connected, they are less likely to dump pollutants like paints, antifreeze, and used motor oil into it.

Stencil kits are buckets with the stencil, paint, gloves, safety vests, and detailed instructions. Request kits from Carlton Stinson at or (206) 684-7624.


Rake Your Leaves

Leaves and debris can build up in our drainage system and on our storm drains. By raking your leaves and/or adopting your storm drain, you can reduce ponding and flooding in your neighborhood. Remember that SPU offers 10 free bags of extra yard waste collection for leaves in November!

Photo of a man raking leaves
Photo of a woman raking leaves

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