Unclog the Bay: Keep your neighborhood storm drains clean!

Image of a storm drain with leaves in the inlet
November 12, 2021
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Have you noticed a storm drain in front of your home or business, school, or house of worship?

Take these SIMPLE ACTIONS to make a BIG IMPACT on your local waterways and prevent flooding on the roads:

  • Keep a broom handy, and frequently sweep up leaves, trash, and sediment that is in front of your storm drain.
  • Call 311 if you have a clogged storm drain that needs a vacuum truck.
  • Don’t blow leaves or grass clippings into the street. Leave them on the ground and mulch mow them into small pieces for free fertilizer.
  • Keep lids on your trash cans, and keep recycling below the level of the bin lid to keep it from blowing out.


Anyone can do their part to keep our storm drains clean.. Woman cleaning storm drain with a broom.

Anyone can do their part to keep our storm drains clean.

Did you know that we have over 63,000 storm drains along our public roads in Montgomery County, and thousands more on private roads or private parking lots? We can help protect the health of our streams and the Chesapeake Bay by keeping them clean! Although 63,000 public storm drains sounds like a lot of work, that’s only one storm drain per every six households in Montgomery County, so it’s not asking a lot.

Leaves, grass clippings, trash, and sediment that run into storm drains have a large impact on our waterways. Stormwater runoff contains nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen that cause algae blooms, and heavy metals, petrochemicals, hydrocarbon, crumbling asphalt, and bacteria. These are all toxic to aquatic life and pollutants in our drinking water. Some storm drains gobble up 50-100 pounds of dry sediment, trash, and leaves per year if we don’t keep it out. Clogged drains also lead to flooding in roadways, or ice in the winter.

Do your part to clean the nearest storm drain! Simple, right?


Grass clippings should be kept out of storm drains

Grass clippings should be kept out of the street and storm drains–leave them on the grass instead.

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