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Posted on: January 3, 2018

The Rain is Here - Keep your Storm Drains Clear

Storm Drain

The City of Watsonville is encouraging residents to continue preparing for this rain by adopting their drain. Natural debris like dead leaves and dried grasses, and littered items like single-use plastics, can clog storm drains and prevent water flow.

Prepare for the Rain - Adopt a Drain

The rainy season requires some extra care for the health of our watershed. Dedicated community members can adopt their neighborhood storm drain and take all necessary precautions on their properties to help prevent flooding. 

Storm DrainLeavesInDrain

Leaf litter that accumulates in storm drains can block water and cause flooding.

This delayed rainy season gave our residents more time to get ready for seasonal storm events, including heavy downpours. The City of Watsonville is encouraging community members to help prevent flooding by placing sand bags around properties in low lying regions and to help the flow of rainwater by clearing nearby storm drains. One of the most simple actions concerned citizens can take is to “adopt” their closest drain by cleaning it regularly. Storm drains are the spaces between the street and the sidewalk, and are often marked with an educational label about where stormwater goes; to our wetlands, rivers, and ultimately flowing out to the Monterey Bay. 20180103_130727

During the fall and winter months, these drains become covered with natural debris including dead leaves, dried grasses, and dirt. The more a drain is blocked, the less effective it is at relieving water that streams down and floods Watsonville streets during rain storms. Adopt the storm drain closest to your house, school, or workplace and sweep debris out of the way. The retrieved natural debris can be included in your yard waste bin for pickup. As you clean, remember your safety is the most important. Stand on the sidewalk while you sweep and not in the road, and never position yourself near open, rushing water. 

drains to bay

Additionally, pollution such as plastic trash and pet waste can easily block drains or get washed directly into our environment without receiving any treatment. These toxic materials harm wildlife in our wetlands and ocean, and have a negative impact on our water quality. Please bag pet waste, pick up plastic litter, and dispose of items directly in appropriate trash or recycle cans. If our residents made weekly inspections of nearby storm drains we could prevent unnecessary flooding while drastically reducing pollution!




  • To help the City identify clogged drains, please report the location by calling our Customer Service hotline: (831) 768 - 3133
  • Watsonville residents who live in areas prone to flooding are encouraged to pick up pre-filled sandbags at Fire Station #1, 115 Second St., or at Home Depot, 355 South Green Valley Road.


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