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There’s no specific requirement for how often you need to sweep up. Most people clear their drain about twice a month, but be sure to check the drain before and after big rain storms to avoid flooding, during leaf collection season, and when snow begins to melt.
A rake, broom, dust pan and bucket/pail should be all you need in terms of equipment. In the event you are interested in adopting a storm drain on a busy street, it is advised that you wear bright clothing or reflectors. Be aware that leaves, if water logged, can be heavy enough to break a rake!
Some sorting is involved. Cans, bottles, appropriate plastic should be cleaned and recycled. Compostable material like leaves and gumballs can be composted. Other debris like animal waste, plastics or other debris should go in the garbage.
Adopt-a-Drain is meant to be a safe, family activity, however you must be 14 or older to work on clean-up and must be an adult to sign the waiver. Please take a moment to review our tips on how to clear your drain and stay safe while doing it at the New Jersey Adopt-a-Drain website.
You must be an adult to adopt a drain and sign the liability waiver. However, young people 14 years of age or older may work on clean-up with parental consent.
While we ask you to commit to clearing your adopted drain for at least one year, we will assume you are continuing to participate in the program until you notify us otherwise. You can discontinue your participation at any time by logging in to your account and unadopting your drain, or by sending us an email. We’ll be happy to help.
In order to help us track the positive impact of Adopt-a-Drain on our watersheds, we are asking you to roughly calculate the amount of debris you collect when you clean your drain(s). You will do this online when you log into your account, choose to "Track Impact" and then "Add a Cleaning." You can report the estimate in pounds or gallons; our online calculator will translate gallons into pounds for most types of debris-remember, we just need a rough estimate!
If you find that the record-keeping is getting in the way of the cleaning, don’t sweat it! It’s much more important that you do the clean-up. Please report in the Adopt-a-Drain tool at least quarterly so we can collect some data and know that you’re taking care of your drain.
Safety first! Never do anything to put yourself at risk. At no time should you clean inside the drain. If you feel your drain needs extra cleaning (i.e. chronic flooding or blockage), please contact the Westfield Department of Public Works Resident Hotline 908-789-4100 - Option 4 to report a street drainage problem, and a Public Works employee will be assigned to address the issue.
For sanitary sewer back-ups at any time, and emergencies occurring nights or weekends, please call the Police Department at 908-789-4000.
We’re so glad you asked! There are several ways you can help us promote the program and the importance of storm-water management.