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How does a storm drain system work?


Storm drains play an important role in the maintenance of roads and residential areas. Their main role is to prevent floods. Without them, driving during a rainstorm would be dangerous because of the excess water. During rainstorms, the water runs directly into the storm drains. The runoff is then carried in underground pipes or open ditches and discharges untreated into local streams, rivers and other bodies of water.

There are two types of storm drains that you have most likely seen: side inlets and grated inlets. Side inlets are storm drains on curbs that divert water from streets, roads or other surfaces into drains.

Inlets are placed in the ground and are covered with a grated or barred surface to allow water to flow in while keeping other debris out.

In some inlets, there is a catch basin designed to collect other sediment and debris. The catch basin sits directly below the inlet so that the flow is not stopped and it is easier for heavy material to flow away from the drain.

Once excess water enters the storm drains, it is carried in underground pipes or open ditches and later discharged the runoff is then carried in underground pipes or open ditches and discharges untreated into local streams, rivers and other bodies of water.

Where does all the storm drain water go?

During rainstorms, water soaks into the ground and excess water goes into storm drains.

Along the way, the storm-water carries debris and other sediments from the street into the drain. Unlike sewer systems, ditches and storm drains do not connect to a water treatment plant, therefore everything that is collected in the water and flows down the drain will go directly into the lakes, ocean and other near bodies of water. This is why it is vital and essential for everyone to play close attention to where we dump hazardous material. It's also important to invest in storm drain cleaning services to keep drains tidy.

Normal activities can cause pollutants to enter storm drains and cause harm to the environment and aquatic life. Some of these hazardous materials include pesticides, pollutants, and oils.


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