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Stormwater drains play a vital role in preventing disasters with heavy rainfall or storms. However, they are often not maintained well.

If we can make sure that the drains are cleaned often, we can prevent large-scale flooding. This would also mean clean streets to walk in immediately after the rain subsides. But in most cases, homeowners tend to overlook maintaining the stormwater drains, which requires hiring professionals.

So, in this read, we will list down how you can maintain your drain the DIY way, which would prevent the situation from getting out of hand.

But we should also mention that sometimes, professional cleaning is the only way around a clogged or damaged stormwater drain. And we will talk about everything in this guide today.

How to Keep Your Stormwater Drains Clean?

Here we have listed how you can keep your stormwater drains clean.

Man Cleaning Stormwater Drain

1. Keep A Check On The Drain Grates

One of our first tips is to watch the grates of the storm drains and prevent them from getting clogged. The grates can get covered with leaves, stones, and other forms of debris, which could hinder the smooth flow of rain and stormwater.

So, whenever you see any dirt accumulating on the grates, make sure you remove that. And by removing, we do not mean just moving it from the top and letting the debris stay on the side. This is because the water flowing from the sides would again lead it on top of the grates, which is something you’d want to prevent.

Other than that, you can keep a strainer on top of the drain. The strainer acts as a filter to prevent debris from entering pipelines. These drains usually collect all the rainwater and lead it to the water treatment plants, which would get treated for reuse.

But this does not happen for most areas, and you will find that the water is generally emptied in some nearby river or creek.

Now you need to realise that any foreign substance in the water also gets dropped there, including plastic and other harmful dissolved or undissolved contaminants. Hence, you must remove all foreign objects from around the stormwater drain holes.

In the case of larger drains, you may not be able to open the grates as they would be big and heavy. So, try cleaning them a few times every week, and you should not face the problem of standing water.

2. Use Rakes

You may keep a rake in your house as it can help clean up the gardens, pathways as well as the top of the stormwater drain. Especially if there are trees on top of the drain, the growing leaves and twigs could make their way underneath the grates. And a rake would help you remove them.

You may also use a pitchfork to clear away all the debris, leaves, and branches. Ensure that you throw them off in a public dustbin or gather them far away from the drain. Alternatively, you can use a cart to transfer the leaves to your garden fertiliser pit, where you can use them to make fertilisers.

3. Ask For Help

If you live near a heavy traffic area, you might see a lot of pollutants that regularly build up on top of these drains.

Such accumulations may well include harmful substances like paint, chemicals, dead animals, pesticides, animal remains, and fertilisers. These might, in turn, release toxic chemicals that can be very harmful if touched with bare hands or inhaled.

That’s why it’s essential to take adequate safety measures and ensure you wear protective clothing, gloves, and a face mask while cleaning the drains.

However, we’d strongly advise calling professional services if the storm drain is severely clogged or requires digging to clean up the debris. Please do not try to do this yourself, as you might get exposed to harmful chemicals.

Professional cleaners will know how to deal with biohazards and follow specific protocols to do the job. They have different tools specially made for this purpose, and you can rest assured that they will do the job in the right way.

Here is a list of the few types of equipment that professional services use for cleaning drains.

1. Clam Shell Truck

Also known as bucket trucks, these comprise a two-part bucket attached to a hydraulic machine. The machine lowers the bucket into the drains and pulls out dirt and debris. It is very effective and safe, as nobody needs to enter the drain. The bucket is removed and cleaned before repeating the process.

2. Vacuum Truck

As the name may have already suggested, vacuum trucks come with a vacuum pump attached to them. Almost all professional stormwater drain cleaner services use vacuum trucks to suck out the debris and clean the area. They are generally used after heavy storms.

3. Water Jetting

Water jetters are used to clean out blockages from drain lines. They remove all the debris collected near the base, ensuring blockages are removed from the get-go.

Tips To Remember

This section has listed some of the factors you should remember to keep your drains running.

Person Standing On Stormwater Drain

1. Refrain From Throwing Leaves Outside

When you are cleaning your garden or raking leaves off the pathway, try not to throw them outside the boundary walls of the house. The same applies to grass clippings, later used as fertilisers. You should only stack leaves outside if your area has cleaning services that collect them every week.

If the leaves and debris gather outside your house, they could soon make their way to the stormwater drains. Plus, if it rains, the water could pull these leaves along, clogging your drain.

2. Do Not Dump Oil Into The Drains

Do not dump oil into the drains, as that could easily clog the drains. Likewise, if you see oil on the ground beside the drain, then clean it up immediately or call up cleaners to do so. Otherwise, the oil could be carried to the nearby streams and creeks. Not only that, but it may also lead to build-up inside the drains, which could then cause clogging. 

3. Organise A Cleaning Drive

A cleaning drive is a great way to keep the surrounding areas clean and build better relations with your neighbours. Talk to your local authorities and neighbours to organise a cleaning drive every once or twice a month.

This would work well for the entire block, and no water will collect even if it rains heavily. Plus, you get to have a fun time doing this activity together as a community. And if everybody puts in the effort to keep the area clean, they will all be very mindful before throwing garbage around the place, especially near the drains.

4. Carry A Dog Litter Plastic

Whenever you are stepping out to walk your pets, remember to clean up after them. If their wastes keep collecting, they could make their way to the storm drains. In most cases, these usually drains empty into streams, resulting in contamination of a more extensive water body.

Pet wastes can have a negative impact on wildlife and marine life, as they can contain several chemicals. If your neighbours have pets, inform them about these hazards too so that everybody is on the same page.

5. Be Mindful While Applying Pesticides

If you share your garden or lawn boundary with the street, avoid spraying fertilisers or pesticides near the stormwater drains, as they might be carried to the nearby streams. And as we have already mentioned, these can harm marine life and even humans if they contact the contaminated water. Hence, be careful while applying pesticides and ensure that none reaches the drains.

6. Salt And Sand

Many people use salt and sand in their driveways and walking paths to avoid slippage. However, they can contribute to clogged drains, so we’d suggest cleaning up any excess salt or sand.

Cleaning & Maintaining Stormwater Drains

That’s all we had for today. We hope that our efforts have helped you find the most suitable method to look after the stormwater drains.

In concussion, we’d like to remind you to clean the place around the drain before it starts snowing. And if the snow has already accumulated, make sure you remove it from the area surrounding the grates. This would provide enough space for the rest of the snow to melt and go down into the storm drain.

Also, we will recommend calling plumbers every once in a while to do a thorough checkup of the drain. It is always better to spot issues before they turn severe. WP Plumbing is happy to assist you with your stormwater drains in Melbourne. Simply speak to one of our friendly representatives for more information or book an appointment.

We will now leave you to it, but we will be back soon with more informational guides. If you want to share your experience or need any more advice, leave a comment in the section below.

See you again!

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