When storm drains become clogged with debris, water can no longer drain from the street during heavy rains. Stormwater will pool along the street and can flood streets and properties. We monitor, clean, and replace storm drains to prevent street flooding, property damage, and hazards to pedestrian and street traffic.
Storm Drain Assistance
If a storm drain appears to be clogged, the most beneficial information you can provide to us is a nearby address. A photo of the drain is also very helpful, as it will give us an idea of the necessary steps required for a solution. This information can be sent via the @pgh2o Twitter account. We also encourage you to remove debris on a storm drain if you see it. However, never attempt to remove a storm drain cover, only the debris on the top of it. If you suspect illegal dumping into a storm drain, please call PWSA Emergency Dispatch 24/7 at 412-255-2423.
Debris Disposal Tips
Whether accidental or on purpose, dumping materials into storm drains clogs our sewers and pollutes our waterways. The following are ways you can help avoid these consequences for the sake of flood-preparedness and the environment:
- Don’t blow lawn clippings into the street. When cleaning up your yard, rake or blow leaves into a pile and place them in a trash bag for collection.
- Be careful when working on cars or other vehicle equipment. A single quart of motor oil can contaminate up to 2 million gallons of drinking water. Take used oil or antifreeze to a service station or recycling center. Always check your car, boat, or motorcycle for leaks.
- Use only biodegradable soaps when washing your car. Try to wash it on the lawn or another unpaved surface to avoid water running into nearby storm drains.
- Don’t apply pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers to your yard before it rains. This will not only help the chemicals work better, but will also avoid creating polluted runoff.
- Keep as much of your property unpaved as possible. Unpaved surfaces allow stormwater to absorb instead of running off into the street.
- Dispose of pet waste properly. Pet waste contains harmful bacteria that can enter local waterways. Clean up your yard regularly and carry a bag when walking your pet.
- Limit the use of sand and salt on driveways and sidewalks. When snow melts, it carries these pollutants with it into storm drains.
- Dispose of waste properly. Hold on to your trash and wait to throw it out in the correct receptacle.
More Info about Reducing Stormwater Pollution
Learn more on our Managing Separate Storm Sewers (MS4) page.