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Department of Public Works
Department of Public Works

 Adopt-a-Drain Program

Why Clean Storm Drains?

A clean storm drain prevents flooding, improves traffic flow, and maintains pedestrian access, especially for children and the elderly.  Clean storm drains improve the water quality of the Bay.  Please follow these instructions and safety tips before cleaning your drain.

Materials Needed:

  • Gloves
  • Rain Poncho
  • Rake
  • Scoop
  • Garbage bags

For the first 40 people who turn in the liability release form, the City will provide a start-up kit containing these items which were donated by Truitt & White.


  • Sign and turn in liability release form.  (One time only.)  Submit release form to:

    Jaime Valencia
    Public Works Streets & Utilities
    1326 Allston Way, Building C
    Berkeley, CA 94702

    City staff will contact you regarding orientation and training. 

    Download release form (.pdf format) .  Documents in .pdf format require Acrobat Reader for viewing.  Download a free copy from Adobe's website GetAdobeLogo.  If you need a copy mailed to you, please call (510) 981-6620.

  • Before and during a storm, remember to periodically check and clear the storm drain.

  • Do NOT remove the grate from the storm drain opening.  This does NOT unclog the system.  Instead it creates a hazard for everyone!

  • Use a rake to remove leaves and garbage from the storm drain opening and gutter and place the material in the bag.  DO NOT LEAVE MATERIAL NEAR THE DRAIN OR IN GUTTER.

  • Leave the filled bags at the curb for pick up.  Do not block wheelchair ramps, crosswalks, driveways, or sidewalk passage.  Call (510) 981-6620 for bag pickup and additional bags.

Safety Tips

  • Wear brightly colored clothing (if you're not in raingear or poncho) so drivers can see you.  Watch out for cars.  Work from the curb or sidewalk if possible.

  • Do not touch or attempt to remove hazardous materials such as syringes.  Call (510) 981-6620 if you find hazardous materials.

  • To remove dead animals, call Animal Control at (510) 981-6600.

  • Be cautious when lifting heavy bags.  If possible, get someone to assist you or call Public Works.

Questions or Problems?

Call (510) 981-6620, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

If you find a backup that you cannot clear, call the City's Customer Service Center at (510) 981-6620.  City crews will assess the situation and will clean and clear the City's Storm Drain.

For general information and copies of the Adopt-a-Drain brochure please contact the Customer Service Center at (510) 981-6620.

More Volunteer Opportunities

Storm drains carry runoff directly to the nearest creek or into the Bay. With your help, we can stop water pollution before it starts.

Storm Drain Stenciling

The storm drain that you recently cleaned and others near it may need to be stenciled (or re-stenciled) with the "No Dumping! Drains to Bay" message.  The City will loan you stencils and provide paint so that you can help prevent illegal dumping into our storm drains.

For more information on how to organize a storm drain sewer stenciling project for your group, contact Danny Akagi at (510) 981-6394 or via e-mail at 

Brownies of Troop 2069 Brownies 


Community Cleanups
Organize a cleanup in your neighborhood.  The City will loan you tools and will provide trash pickup and organizational assistance.  Keeping neighborhoods clean means less litter and leaves will end up in the storm drain.  Contact the Office of Neighborhood Services at (510) 981-7000.

Students Partner with City to Clean Storm DrainsUC Students Cleaning Storm Drains


Report Illegal Dumping
The City needs your help in preventing illegal dumping.  Call (510) 981-6620 to report dumping.  If there is an immediate hazard, call 911. 

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Department of Public Works, 2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-6300
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903