RUMOR: Is it True That You Can Adopt a Storm Drain in Virginia Beach?

FACT: The City’s Adopt-a-Drain program lets residents register a storm drain to look after and keep clear of debris at the curb. And you can give it a name!

STORM DRAIN MARKERSThe Department of Public Works is responsible for the inspection and maintenance of more than 40,000 drains in Virginia Beach. With that many drains spread across town, residents can take on a role helping the City to keep the drains…well, draining.

To adopt a drain, visit​ and find a storm drain near their address to monitor. Then, check on it from time to time, like when you’re out walking, doing yard work or going to get the mail. All that’s asked is that you keep it clear and sweep up and debris or obstructions nearby to keep it from going down the drain and clogging up the system.

Keeping things like trash, yard clippings and other debris from entering the drain not only helps prevent flooding, it can help improve the water quality of any nearby streams, lakes or rivers. Water, and anything in it, that goes down a storm drain empties out into the nearby watershed and never touches a water treatment facility. A few minutes a month can have a measurable impact on your home and your neighborhood.

If you see something inside the drain that shouldn’t be there or if it needs any maintenance, please don’t try to remove the cover or enter the drain yourself. Call Public Works at 385-1470 and they’ll get a crew out there.

Adopting a drain comes with a notable perk: you get to name your drain. And we’ve seen some creative names: Drainy McDrainface, Purple Drain and our favorite, a tribute to a town in Wales called Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. No, that’s not a typo – it’s a real town in Wales. Whatever you name it, just keep it clean...the name and your drain.

To take your storm drain care to the next level, Public Works has medallions that can be placed on the drain to indicate into which watershed the drain empties. There are about 10,000 placed throughout the city right now, and plenty more to go around. Volunteers can request a marking kit with everything they need to place the medallion, or group of medallions, by emailing

So far, 367 citizens have adopted 623 drains. To join them, and for additional information about the Adopt-a-Drain program, please visit​ or call 385-4131.

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