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Storm Drain Cleaning: When, Why, and How Often

storm drain cleaning

Storm drains are crucial in managing excess water during heavy rainfall or storms. They prevent flooding by efficiently diverting water from streets, sidewalks, and residential areas. However, storm drains require regular maintenance to function effectively like any other infrastructure. This comprehensive blog delves into the importance of storm water drain cleaning, when it should be done, why it’s necessary, and how often you should schedule this essential service.

What is a Storm Drain?

Before cleaning storm drains, let’s first understand what they are. Storm drains, also known as stormwater drains or surface water drains, are a vital component of municipal drainage systems. They are designed to collect rainwater runoff from streets, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces, channeling it into underground pipes that lead to nearby water bodies or treatment facilities. Storm drains help minimize the risk of flooding and water damage by preventing water accumulation on roads and properties.

Why Storm Drain Cleaning is Important

Storm water drain cleaning is vital for preventing flooding, preserving water quality, and maintaining public safety. Accumulated debris and pollutants can obstruct water flow, leading to backups and localized flooding during heavy rainfall. By removing debris, such as leaves, litter, and sediment, from storm drains, we safeguard against potential damage to infrastructure and property. Moreover, clean storm drains help protect water bodies from contamination, ensuring a healthier environment for humans and wildlife. Regular maintenance extends the drainage system’s lifespan and minimizes hazards associated with standing water, such as mosquito breeding grounds and slippery surfaces.

For the following reasons, routine storm drain cleaning is imperative:

Prevent Flooding:

Clearing debris and sediment from storm drains ensures unobstructed water flow, reducing the risk of localized flooding.

Maintain Water Quality:

By removing pollutants, such as oil, sediment, and litter, from storm drains, we help protect water bodies from contamination.

Preserve Infrastructure:

Proper maintenance extends the lifespan of storm drain systems, minimizing the need for costly repairs or replacements.

Enhance Public Safety:

Clean storm drains contribute to safer roads and neighborhoods by minimizing flooding and standing water hazards.

Read More: Plumbing Excavation for Efficient Sewer Solutions

When to Clean Storm Drains

The amount of debris carried by runoff, surrounding vegetation, and local weather patterns all play a role in determining when it is appropriate to clean storm drains. However, there are some general indicators that it’s time for a storm drain cleanout:

Visible Debris:

If you notice leaves, trash, or other debris accumulating around storm drain grates, it’s a sign that there may be a clogged storm drain.

Slow Water Drainage:

Standing water near storm drains or slow drainage during light rain suggests a potential blockage.

Foul Odors:

Unpleasant odors emanating from storm drain openings may indicate the presence of stagnant water and organic matter, signaling the need for cleaning.

Regular Maintenance Schedule

Establishing a routine maintenance schedule, such as quarterly or bi-annual cleanings, helps prevent problems before they escalate.

How Often Should Storm Drains be Cleaned

The frequency of storm drain cleaning depends on several factors, including the drainage area’s size, the runoff volume, and the surrounding environment. Residential storm drains may require less frequent cleaning compared to those serving commercial or industrial areas with higher traffic and pollution levels.

Optimal Cleaning Frequencies for Storm Drains

water draining into a sewer manhole

Residential Areas:

Storm drains in residential neighborhoods typically benefit from annual or bi-annual cleanings, especially before the rainy season.

Commercial and Industrial Areas:

High-traffic areas prone to greater debris accumulation may require more frequent cleanings, ranging from quarterly to monthly intervals.

Seasonal Considerations:

Areas with distinct rainy seasons or periods of heavy runoff may need more frequent cleaning to prevent backups and flooding.

Working with competent storm drain cleaning services that have the knowledge and tools to evaluate the state of your storm drains and provide a cleaning program that is suitable for your particular requirements is imperative.

Professional Storm Drain Cleaning Services

While some homeowners may attempt DIY cleaning, professional storm drain cleaning services offer several advantages:


Trained technicians have the knowledge and experience to identify potential issues and safely remove debris without causing damage to the drainage system.

Specialized Equipment:

Professional cleaning companies use specialized equipment, such as high-pressure jetting machines and vacuum trucks, to efficiently clear blockages and restore optimal drainage.

Comprehensive Inspection:

In addition to cleaning, professionals can conduct thorough inspections to identify any damage or structural issues that may require repair.


Hiring licensed and insured professionals ensures compliance with local regulations and environmental standards for wastewater management.

In addition to reducing the possibility of expensive water damage and environmental contamination, homeowners and property managers can ensure the durability and efficiency of their drainage systems by investing in professional storm drain cleaning services.

Safeguard Your Property and Community: Prioritize Routine Storm Drain Cleaning

Storm drain cleaning is critical to maintaining efficient drainage systems and protecting communities from flooding and water pollution. By understanding the importance of regular cleanings, knowing when to schedule maintenance, and enlisting the help of professional cleaning services, property owners can safeguard their infrastructure, preserve water quality, and enhance public safety. Don’t wait until the next storm to address potential drainage issues—take proactive steps to keep your storm drains clean and functional year-round.

Brock Mechanical offers professional storm drain cleaning services in Howell and surrounding Michigan areas using advanced equipment and expert technicians. With comprehensive inspections, they identify blockages and structural issues, ensuring optimal drainage. Licensed and insured, they prioritize compliance with regulations, delivering efficient solutions for residential and commercial properties alike.

Your Plumbing & HVAC Solution are Just a Call Away! Contact our experts now at  248-529-6251 for immediate assistance with your plumbing and HVAC needs.”

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