City of Regina launches Adopt a Storm Drain campaign

·3 min read
The City of Regina asks residents to be mindful of traffic and COVID-19 restrictions when clearing their adopted storm drains. (Ashleigh Mattern/CBC - image credit)
The City of Regina asks residents to be mindful of traffic and COVID-19 restrictions when clearing their adopted storm drains. (Ashleigh Mattern/CBC - image credit)

The City of Regina has started a campaign to help clear and maintain the 22,000 storm drains in the city.

Adopt a Storm Drain was launched Monday and it asks residents to pick any storm drain in the city, name it and give it some tender loving care.

"Keeping 22,000 storm drains clean and flowing freely takes a lot of teamwork and this is a fun way for residents to give back to their community," said executive director of citizen services Kim Onrait in a statement.

"By adopting and caring for a storm drain, residents are helping to protect public and private property from street flooding, protect water quality by keeping debris from flowing into Wascana Creek, and give back to their community."

The city said there is an interactive map on the City of Regina's website that shows all of the storm drains in the city, and whether they are available to be adopted.

From there, a resident can give contact information, name the drain and choose an adoption timeline of either one, two or five years. It said residents can adopt as many storm drains as they'd like.

The city said participants will receive a free safety vest and gloves to help with the caring of their new storm drain, while supplies last.

The City of Regina is also holding a contest for Regina resident's favourite "grate" name. The top 10 names will be voted on by Regina citizens with three prizes ranging from $75 to $250 for a gift card to a local store for rain apparel or a local car wash.

Kurtis Doney is the director of water, waste and environment for the City of Regina. He said the city launched the campaign to get residents to get outside and enjoy the fresh air while also giving back to the community.

"When a storm drain becomes plugged, it can very quickly flood a street and it's surrounding properties during a major rain storm event," Doney said.

"We'd prefer residents not to actually make any markings on the storm drains because that material can go into the storm drain."

The City of Regina website said the best time to care for storm drains is before and after a heavy rainfall, before the snow melts and when trees lose their leaves.

Doney said while clearing out the storm drains, it is important to make sure residents are doing so safely by watching for traffic in the area and wearing brightly coloured clothes.

"It's important to use rakes, shovels, to clear that material away from the storm grates and dispose of it properly," he said. "If it's leaves, it can go into the [yard waste] depot up at the City of Regina landfill or if it's garbage it can be disposed of in the garbage."

If the drain cannot be cleaned due to safety reasons — if it's already flooded or frozen, for example — residents are asked to call Service Regina to get their adopted drain cleared.

Doney said since this is the first year the program launched, the city is not expecting all 22,000 storm drains to be adopted but thinks this could be a continuing program.

"We're really looking for residents and families to go out and adopt a storm drain in front of your home and maybe that's a contest we'll do year over year to see how many more storm drains we can have," he said.