Before the current parade of storms started to roll in, most SF residents probably didn’t spend much time thinking about their local storm drain. SF’s Adopt-a-Drain Program seeks to change that by encouraging individuals to become caretakers of their local storm drain.
As an added bonus, you also get to name the drain that you adopt which has led to creative names like “Frazier Drain,” “It’s Draining Men,” and “Thirsty Boi.”
Adopt-a-Drain is run by the SF Public Utilities Commission and has already attracted thousands of volunteers to the program. SF’s 25,000 storm drains and catch basins are crucial tools that prevent flooding during heavy rains. The novelty of naming a storm drain along with recent flooding has led to growing interest in the program.
The program was inspired by Boston’s Adopt-a-Hydrant Program, which utilized volunteers to keep fire hydrants cleared and visible after a snowstorm. San Francisco followed a similar model, utilizing open data to identify drain locations in the city and develop the Adopt-a-Drain web application.
The mastermind behind both of these programs is Code for America, a “welcoming and inclusive volunteer group of developers, designers, data geeks, and citizen activists who use creative technology to solve civic and social problems, ” according to their website. Code for San Francisco, a local Code for America chapter, built the application at no cost to the City.
To learn more about this city program and look up funny drain names, check out the Adopt-a-Drain site, and enter your address or neighborhood to locate available drains in your area.
Featured image: Grant MacHamer