An Inside Look at Storm Drains

Storm drains are infrastructure components found in curbsides or parking lots that collect rainwater runoff to prevent the flooding of streets and commercial and residential properties. Once the drain collects the watershed, it moves the water through a system of underground piping, culverts, and drainage ditches into local waterways.

The critical function that storm drains serve necessitates proper installation and implementation of a comprehensive maintenance program to ensure they are in optimal working condition. If a storm drain is improperly installed or inadequately maintained, it can result in severe flooding, causing unnecessary property damage and traffic disruption. 

At Service Pumping & Drain Co., we provide complete storm drain cleaning and maintenance services to ensure optimum operation and extend the life of your stormwater management system. We can also develop a customized preventative maintenance program for your system that complies with local regulations to ensure regular cleaning and inspection appointments.

How Does A Storm Drain Work?

The storm drain has many working components, each of which contributes to the overall function of the storm drain. The typical storm drain parts include:

  • Drain inlet: Generally located at ground level, the drain inlet allows water runoff into the system while filtering out large debris that can clog up the subsequent basin. These metal grate inlets typically open into vaults beneath the ground. The main concern for drain inlets is buildup. A visual inspection of these components can quickly assess whether they are clogged with leaves or other debris that can interfere with their function and restrict the flow of water into the system. This visual inspection should take place at least once a month, and more frequently during the stormy seasons such as the spring and fall, to prevent blockage and subsequent flooding.
  • Riser: Storm drain risers, also known as vent pipes, are vertical sewer or storm pipelines that allow pooling water to drain from a rooftop down to the ground or sub-ground level into the drain inlet. Once water passes through the inlet, it enters a sump (typically a catch basin).
  • Basin: In storm drain systems, basins accept and temporarily hold the collected water runoff before pushing it through to the rest of the drain system. These receptacles are connected to subsequent system sections by piping.
  • Piping: Piping enables water to enter (inlet) and exit (outlet) the storm drain system. Although both inlet and outlet pipes are typically placed above the midline of the system to allow sediment to settle out within a sump, outlet pipes are generally positioned lower than inlet pipes to prevent water from backing up through the system. In general, individual drainage pipes connect to a more extensive storm piping system, which outlets at a single point per best management practices for water pollution control.

Signs Your Storm Drains Need Maintenance

Although a quick visual inspection is sufficient to assess the condition of a drain inlet, evaluating the condition of components beyond the system’s inlet requires observation of specific indicators. If your storm drain system exhibits some of the following signs, you may want to consider consulting with professionals, such as Service Pumping & Drain Co., for inspection, maintenance, and cleaning services:

  • Consistent clogging. Clogs are commonly caused by a buildup of debris in the system, which prevents water from properly draining.
  • Slow drainage. Similar to clogging, slow drainage may be attributed to the accumulation of debris in the system, reducing the ability of the system to drain properly.
  • Water accumulation. Water spots on residential or commercial properties affect the aesthetic quality of the area, as well as facilitate the growth of pest populations.
  • Mildew or odor development. Drainage issues and water accumulation can also lead to the development of mildew and odor.
  • Overflowing plumbing. If not adequately maintained, drainage systems can backup causing overflowing sinks, showers, bathtubs, and toilets.
  • Leakage of piping. The backing up of water in a drain system increases the amount of pressure within the piping, leading to faster deterioration and a greater risk of leaking.
  • Water damage. Water overflow and leakage contribute significantly to the overall water damage costs experienced by residential and commercial space owners.

Schedule Your Catch Basin Service Today

Properly cleaning and maintaining your storm catch basin system is crucial to preventing flooding and costly water damage to your commercial properties.

At Service Pumping & Drain, we can inspect your storm drains and catch basins and determine the best maintenance practices to maintain the operation and extend the service life of your system. We also provide septic system maintenance, water jetting services, and grease trap cleaning services.

If you are experiencing any of the common indications of clogged or blocked storm drain systems outlined above, contact us today to request a quote or schedule your storm drain cleaning service appointment.

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