Help keep our waterways clean by adopting a drain in your neighborhood! Through Medford’s Adopt-a-Drain program, residents can volunteer to care for a local storm drain and check on it before and after heavy rain, wind, or snow.

Did you know that storm drains lead directly into our waterways? Keeping drains clear of litter, leaves, and other debris protects our lakes and rivers from pollution and ensures that our streets don’t flood.

The city partners with the Mystic River Watershed Association for this program, check them out here to see what important work they’re doing and get involved!

Photo from Mystic River Watershed Association.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Adopt-a-Drain program? What does it mean to adopt a drain?

The Adopt-a-Drain program is a volunteer program that helps keep our local environment clean and healthy. Participants sign up to adopt a drain (or drains!) and then check on and clean off that drain before and after heavy rain, wind, or snow. Any extra care is even better! Anything that goes down the drain ends up in the Mystic River or Lakes, which is why this program is so impactful. Keeping the drains clear can also help prevent streets from flooding, as it ensures that water can freely flow down the drain.

What am I adopting? What is a storm drain?

Storm drains are the grates you see in streets and roads. They are at the side of the road, along the curb, and in Medford are typically square. Since asphalt and pavement can’t absorb water, any rain and melting snow flow along the street and into these drains. A basin below the grates, called a catch basin, is meant to collect this water and any debris but it can fill up quickly and doesn’t capture everything. Water that goes into the drains – and anything in that water, like trash – doesn’t get treated or go to a wastewater plant, instead, it empties into nearby water bodies.

How can I get involved?

Just head to our website to sign up! Find a drain by typing in a nearby address or by dragging the map. If the drain you want to adopt is available, you can claim it by clicking on it. Sign up for the program, give your drain a name, and keep an eye out for a welcome email with more info! You can adopt as many drains as you would like to care for.

How can I learn more about stormwater and our environment?

There are lots of great resources to learn more about stormwater, pollution, the Mystic River, and our environment! Our Stormwater Management page is a great place to learn more about Medford stormwater. Also, be sure to find Go Green Medford on Facebook and follow along there! 

Photo by the Mystic River Watershed Association