Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Ripple Effects

Program Availability

This program is open to residents and groups who live in the City of Fitchburg, City of Middleton, City of Stoughton, City of Sun Prairie, Village of Cross Plains, Village of DeForest, Village of McFarland and Village of Cottage Grove.

Adopt a Storm Drain Program

Dane County is partnering with the communities listed above to build a network of volunteers committed to cleaning the area on and around local storm drains and reporting back results. Keeping storm drains clean and clear can prevent localized flooding, keep our communities clean and protect our waters. Municipalities are working hard to clean and maintain these storm drains, but they can’t do it alone. If you live in any of the participating communities, have a storm drain near you and can spare at least 15 minutes a month consider Adopting a Storm Drain. It’s easy!

Getting Started

  1. Create an Account and click on "Create an account" to fill out the registration form.
  2. Login to your account, and input your address. Choose an address that is near the storm drain you plan to keep clean (typically, this would either be your home or work address). 
  3. Follow instructions to adopt a storm drain. Please avoid adopting drains on busy streets or highways. By adopting a storm drain, you are committing to visiting this storm drain at least once a month, preferably before heavy rainfalls, to remove leaves, litter, or other debris. 
  4. You will receive an email with instructions on how to pick up a free storm drain cleaning kit. The cleaning kit includes: a safety vest, storm drain decal to place on the adopted storm drain, dust pan and broom, a debris collection bucket, and an Adopt a Storm Drain sticker to proudly display.


Cleaning and Reporting

Adopted storm drains should be cleaned regularly, especially before heavy rainfalls. As part of this program, you are committing to cleaning your storm drain at least once a month. Remember, your drain leads to a local waterbody, so removing even small items like plastic wrappers can help!

  1. Collect your storm drain cleaning tools: Safety vest, broom and dust pan, and collection bucket.
  2. Safety First!- Put on your provided safety vest and if possible try to position yourself so you are looking toward oncoming traffic and clean the area around the storm drain from the curb rather than standing in the street. It helps to have another person watch for traffic too. Only clean drains during good weather and daylight hours.
  3. Using the broom and dust pan clean the area on and around the grate and the curb surrounding the storm drain. NEVER REMOVE THE GRATE. If you encounter any issues with the storm drain that you cannot handle on your own, such as major blockages or damage, log into your account and report the issue using the "Report Clogged Drain" or "Report Pollution" links. 
  4. Report your cleanings by logging into your account on the Account Login page. For each storm drain click on the "Action" button and then select either, "I cleaned the drain" or "I checked the drain and it was clean." Please submit a report even if there wasn’t any debris to clear. Reporting helps us keep track of the effectiveness of the Adopt a Storm Drain program. 
  5. Sort and dispose of collected debris into the trash, recycling bin or compost pile, as appropriate.

Thank you for helping to keep our communities and local waterways clean!