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Department of Public Works
Department of Public Works

Adopt-a-Spot - Storm Drains

Why Clean Storm Drains?

  • Clean storm drains prevent flooding, improve traffic flow, and maintain pedestrian access, especially for children and the elderly. 
  • Clean storm drains improve the water quality of the Bay.    
  • The City relies on Volunteers to help keep our storm drains clear.   

 Anyone who wants to "adopt" a storm drain must complete the Volunteer Agreement (even if you have already been volunteering), and email it to

The Department of Public Works is in the process of ordering high visibility safety vests, which will be provided to volunteers to wear when clearing out storm drains. Public Works is also working on providing a GIS-based map of storm drain locations and their adoption status.

Please note that some storm drains may not be adoptable if they are in high traffic areas, or if they are in the state's right of way (e.g. Ashby Avenue).

Recommended materials for maintaining storm drains:

  • Gloves
  • Rake and/or Scoop
  • Trash Bags (will be provided by the City by request)
  • Safety Vest (will be provided by the City)

Please follow these instructions and safety tips before cleaning your drain: 

  • DO check and clear the drain periodically and especially before a storm. 
  • DO use a rake to remove leaves, trash, and debris from the storm drain opening and gutter. 
  • DO place the material removed into the trash bags provided.
  • DO place the filled trash bags at the curb for pick up taking care not to block wheelchair ramps, crosswalks, driveways, or sidewalk passage.  Use caution when lifting heavy bags.
  • DO call (510) 981-6620 for trash bag pickup, or to request more bags. 
  • DO wear your the safety vest provided or brightly colored clothing so that you are visible to vehicle traffic.  Work from the curb or sidewalk if possible. 
  • DO NOT touch or attempt to remove hazardous materials such as syringes.
  • DO NOT remove the grate from the storm drain opening as this does not unclog the system and will instead create a hazard for everyone.
  • DO NOT leave storm drain debris piles or filled bags near the drain.

To report hazardous materials, call (510) 981-6620.  

To report a dead animal in the drain, call (510) 981-6600.

For questions, issues, or additional information about the Adopt-a-Drain Program, email



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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