Here Are Houston’s Orphan Storm Drains Not Yet Claimed by Adopters

Mayor Turner announced last Thursday that 115,000 storm drains would be put up for adoption as part of the city’s new Adopt-A-Drain program — already 5 have been claimed downtown by members of the public. (One of them — dubbed the “Director’s Drain” — is cared for by public works director Carol Haddock, reports the Chronicle’s Mike Morris.) The custodians Houston really wants to engage? “Schools,” as well as, “individuals, families, youth organizations, businesses (large and small), civic and non-profit organizations, fraternities, [and] sororities,” according to the website set up for the program. There, prospective adopters can view an interactive version of the map above showing what drains are and aren’t yet spoken for, as well as claim their own.

Then comes the responsibility: “Turner wants Houstonians to clear their drains at least four times a year, particularly when rain is in the forecast,” writes Morris. Although, the city adds, they should: “stop working and call the city’s 311 helpline if they encounter needles, construction debris, animals, firearms or chemicals.”

Map: Adopt-A-Drain Houston


18 Comment

  • aww man these firearms are blocking the storm drain again!

  • What a great idea! Let’s just dissolve all city services and get amateurs to volunteer. What could possible go wrong?

  • What happens when your city is is stretched to far out. Services are stretched too thin and the city is not financially capable of repairing/replacing/maintaining all the aging infrastructure; etc. Same deal with the sidewalks/right of way issue where the homeowner is responsible for fixing the broken sidewalks when technically not theirs. Houston would do best to downsize as it is massively bloated and incapable of maintaining its infrastructure.

  • Somebody is trying to make a statement around the periphery of Market Square. Can’t say I disagree…

  • It never ceases to amaze me how goddamned cheap people are when it comes to paying taxes. The 4th largest city in America doesn’t have completed sidewalks in many places, and where we do have them the sidewalks are poorly maintained, because… it might cost a few extra in tax dollars? You know, like $50 a year.

  • “Houston would do best to downsize as it is massively bloated and incapable of maintaining its infrastructure.”

    Or we could collect sufficient taxes to address our failing infrastructure. Not sure what “downsizing” would do beyond leave people in a worse predicament.

  • @Ed @Aaron Why don’t you bother asking why there aren’t enough funds despite the taxes we pay? I’d suggest the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System adopt a boatload of these drains, because that’s where the money’s going.

  • While it’s true the city SHOULD be able to handle this itself, I still think this is a good idea. Wish more people had a “see problem, do something about it” attitude instead “this shouldn’t be my problem”. The latter is true, but unproductive. Why not adopt a drain and then go campaign for tax increases? They’re not mutually exclusive activities.

  • I agree, Christian.
    There’s nothing wrong with the mayor encouraging people to be good neighbors and responsible citizens. People who are directly involved with maintaining their streets are more likely to also take an active role in discouraging the disposal of lawn waste and litter in storm drains.
    A few years ago there was a minor flood in my neighborhood, and people were standing around, bitching about how the city doesn’t do anything. In response, I reached over the curb and removed a few handfuls of leaves that were blocking the storm sewer grate, which immediately started the water flowing down the drain.
    “Oh!”, someone said, “I didn’t know we could do that.”
    Uh, yes. We can, and we should.

  • Seems the drainage utility charge we already pay ($100/yr, started in 2011 as part of rebuildhouston) would cover some of these costs?!

  • Oh man, the hyperbole and draaamma in the name of resisting the simple task of keeping debris and leaves out of a nearby drain. Look, quit resisting, just grab a rake and pitch in. Besides, you can even name your adopted drain, how much more proprietary can ya get?

  • What about all the small and large lawn care companies who blow leaves and clippings down the drains.
    Maybe they should contribute.

  • What is a storm drain? All I have ever had is a ditch in my neighborhood.

  • We have an icehouse in our neighborhood & ditches along our street. There’s a grate on the ditch in front of the icehouse that constantly is covered with debris. I’ve called the city about it to see what can be done, they say it’s the icehouses responsibility to clean it & went & told them to clean it out. This drain is notorious for being clogged then flooding the neighborhood when it rains. Along comes Harvey & a couple of us asked them to clean it out. Did they? Nope. My neighbor had 2 ft of water in his business. It can be so disgusting when I’ve gone to clean it, I give up from the stench. I called the city again to ask why they can’t fine them as wouldn’t that be a good way to get $$$?? I think I stumped them, they could not give me a good answer…and the drain is still clogged…

  • Do we get on the payroll? I love it. Annise Parker cuts the public works budget after the drainage fee was passed so we are spending 50% less than we were before.

  • Why are people so opposed to contributing a little bit of effort to help keep their own neighborhoods functioning well and looking nice?

  • I guess some people don’t take any pride in their neighborhood or care about possible street flooding. During Hurricane Ike the street that I was living on was flooding enough that water was coming up to our front steps. The neighbors and I cleared out a couple of the drains of leaves, branches and other debris that was caused by the storm and it pretty much instantly drained after that.

  • Re: “Why are people complaining about this?”
    Because this is no way to run a city. Volunteering is great, but where’s the oversight? How can it be wise to depend on volunteers for something as important as maintaining our drainage system?
    A couple of years ago my wife and I saw a bunch of trash all over a field in our neighborhood. We have no idea who owns that field, but we had a couple of hours free and it was bugging us, so we went out there and picked up all of the trash. Yay us, but that’s no substitute for city services. You get what you pay for.