Welcome to a new volunteer program with CMSWS, the Adopt-A-Drain program! This program is currently a pilot program in partnership with the Town of Matthews, with the hope of expanding to more areas throughout Mecklenburg County.

Stormwater and stormwater pollution throughout Charlotte and Mecklenburg County drains directly to streams and lakes. The cleaner we keep stormwater, the cleaner our surface waters will be. Help protect them by helping to keep pollution from entering the storm drain and educating the community about their connection to streams and lakes by making sure each storm drain displays one of our storm drain markers.

You can get involved right in your own community, by adopting the storm drain outside your house, one that you pass by on your afternoon walk, or one right outside your office. You will even get the chance to name your adopted storm drain! The process is easy…

1. Locate an Unadopted Storm Drain

After identifying the storm drain(s) you would like to adopt, please visit our “Adopted Drains Map” below to confirm that your storm drain(s) are available. This map will also provide you with your "Drain ID" number that you will need for adoption. If you have problems using the map, please reach out to the contact listed on this page. Please use the latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Microsoft Edge.

2. Confirm Storm Drain Selection

Take a photograph of the storm drain you have selected and identify the address and the drain ID (found on the map above) which best confirms the location of your storm drain. Send both the photograph and the location information to the contact listed on this page.

3. Make Your Yearlong Commitment

Once your storm drain has been confirmed as available, a contract will be emailed to you. This contract includes the contract terms, the Safety Rules and Guidelines Sheet, the Participation Waiver Form, and the Youth Participation Release Form. This is where you will provide us with the name of the group/family/person adopting the drain(s), the names for the storm drain, and your contact information. Your storm drain selection will be reserved once the contract and forms are signed and returned to the contact listed on this page. Then your adoption will be complete, and you will receive your Certificate of Adoption in the mail!

Certificate of Adoption.

4. Pick Up Your Adopt-A-Drain Kit

A supply kit with basic supplies to help care for your storm drain will be reserved for you and available for pick up at 2145 Suttle Avenue in our volunteer supply shelter. Supplies include gloves, trash bags, and orange vests. If your drain(s) are not already marked, we will also include storm drain marking supplies for you to mark your drain. Email the contact on this page to arrange for pick-up.

5. Monitor and Clean Your Drain

Once a month you should check on your drain and ensure that it is clear of debris and trash. You can monitor the storm drain for any pollutants, damage, or odors and report these issues to CMSWS by calling 3-1-1. Additionally, reminders will be sent out by Storm Water Services before forecasted heavy rains so that volunteers can ensure the storm drain(s) are free of debris so rain can quickly enter the drain.

6. Be Safe

Remember to watch the weather and ALWAYS BE CAUTIOUS and SAFE. Please review the part of your contract labeled “Safety Rules and Guidelines for Volunteers.” Cleaning storm drains can be a dangerous activity because many of them are in close proximity to roads and traffic.

7. Send Us Your Data

After you clean a storm drain, send us your data within 24 hours. This will include the amount of trash collected, types of trash and other pollutants, etc. You can send us data by filling out the Adopt-A-Drain Data Sheet or complete ouronline form! Please access this form using the latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Microsoft Edge. This data sheet also helps us track program participation and monitor the most severe pollutants.

8. Share your experience

Feel free to share your experience on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account (@StormWaterCM). Direct any concern to the contact below on ways we can improve. Invite your friends to join this clean water initiative!

To learn more about what you will be doing when adopting a storm drain, check out our interactive storymap. This storymap works best when opened in Google Chrome.

Questions? Contact:

Ashley Smith

Mecklenburg County Environmental Specialist III