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FAQ – Adopt A Storm Drain – Ramsey, New Jersey

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

When it rains, or when snow melts, where does the water go?  A large part of Ramsey is covered by roads, parking lots, driveways, and other surfaces that can prevent rainwater and snow melt from being absorbed into the ground.  Storm drains that we see along the sides of our streets are there for the sole purpose of collecting that stormwater and directing it away from areas where it might cause flooding and into nearby ponds, lakes, rivers and streams.  That means that whatever goes into those storm drains ends up in those ponds, lakes, rivers and streams and, eventually, in our drinking water.

HOW LONG IS THE COMMITMENT?

The commitment is for as long as you want it to be.  This is a volunteer program and you are free to cancel your commitment at any time, but we encourage you to participate for as long as you can.  Your contribution to this effort is greatly appreciated!  If you terminate the adoption, please notify us at admin@ramseyadoptadrain.org so that your storm drain will become available for adoption by others; however, we ask that you consider recommending to a friend or neighbor that they assume the adoption.   

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CLEAN MY ADOPTED DRAIN?

We recommend that you check it at least once a week and plan to clean it at least once a month. It is important to make sure that your drain does not get fully clogged by leaves and other debris. You should also be sure to check your drain(s) before and after heavy rain or snow.

WHAT DO I NEED IN ORDER TO CLEAN OUT MY ADOPTED DRAIN?

The only equipment you will need are a rake, broom, dustpan or shovel, and bucket/pail.  If you have adopted a storm drain on a busy street, we recommend that you wear bright clothing or reflectors and work from the sidewalk, rather than stepping into the street.  In any event, you should always step out of the road when cars are approaching! You may consider working with a helper who can act as a “spotter” for oncoming traffic. 

WHAT DO I DO WITH THE DEBRIS I’VE COLLECTED?

Debris should be placed in trash bags and disposed of with your ordinary household trash.  You are encouraged to sort out cans, bottles, and appropriate plastic to be cleaned and recycled.  You may also choose to compost materials like leaves and other compostable organic material. 

WHO CAN ADOPT A STORM DRAIN?

Any person over the age of eighteen (children over 14 can help so long as they have adult consent and supervision)
Scout Troops
Schools
Houses of Worship
Businesses
Organizations
Recreational Teams
Clubs

MY TIME COMMITMENTS HAVE CHANGED, CAN I CANCEL MY ADOPTION?

You can terminate at any time; however, you are encouraged to continue your commitment for as long as possible.  If you wish to cancel your adoption, we ask that you consider recommending to a friend or neighbor that they assume the adoption.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE ARE MATERIALS IN MY DRAIN THAT I AM UNCOMFORTABLE REMOVING OR I BELIEVE TO BE UNSAFE TO REMOVE?

If you at any point feel that there are materials in your drain that are unsafe to retrieve, you are encouraged to leave it alone and report the condition to the Ramsey DPW – 201-825-3400, ext. 274. SAFETY ALWAYS COMES FIRST!

SHOULD I FISH THINGS OUT OF THE DRAIN?

Safety first. If it will put your safety at risk, you should not fish things out of the storm drain. You can report what you have found to the the Ramsey DPW – 201-825-3400, ext. 274.

WHY ISN’T THE DPW DOING THIS?

Ramsey has approximately 1,100 storm drains, and the DPW has limited personnel and resources. The Adopt-a-Storm Drain program is designed to supplement the efforts of the DPW.  If we all pitch in to keep our storm drains clear, it will help prevent larger problems from developing.

HOW CAN I PROMOTE THE PROGRAM TO MY NEIGHBORS AND THE COMMUNITY?

The best way to promote this program is through any form of social media.