DC Residents And Officials Unclog Storm Drains

6:46 PM, Nov 12, 2009   |    comments
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WASHINGTON DC (WUSA) --- Street flooding happens during rainy days when leaves clog storm drains. Officials say the drains are too old to hold all the storm water.

So DC residents  pitch in to remove the leaves from storm drains in the neighborhood. 

Meanwhile, DC Water & Sewer (WASA) say they try to clean at least 25 storm drains a day. But when the weather turns wet, they respond to specific calls.

"On a [rainy day], we're doing site-specific requests to respond to challenges. We find them, we clean the catch basin and it usually solves the problem," says WASA director George Hawkins. To report a clogged storm drain, call WASA: 202 612 3400.

But even if the leaves do get removed frequently, it's still not enough to completely avoid street floods.  Hawkins says the aging infrastructure is the main problem.

"There's too much rain in the drain system, and the pipe's not big enough," says

And the overall big solution takes time and money.

"The bills we pay for water and sewer is  less than a cable bill less than a cell phone bill. It's usually much less than your electrical bill. That's all good...but there's a consequence. You get what you pay for," says Hawkins.

Hawkins says, WASA  plans to present a case its Board of Directors on the urgent need to fund the replacement of the aging storm pipes.

Written by: Elizabeth Jia

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