How does a storm sewer work?

A storm drain, or storm sewer, is designed to drain excess rain and ground water from non-impervious surfaces into a drainage system. Water runs into an inlet, or the gutter, located adjacent to the curb and fills the storm drains. The pressure of water flow pushes any trash that has accumulated into local bodies of water, in our case Grapevine Lake.

The storm drain system was built to make sure that streets do not flood when it rains. Unfortunately, rainwater picks up every kind of garbage on the streets and in gutters, and washes it into the lake. Cigarette butts, leaves, gum wrappers, Styrofoam peanuts, grass clippings, fall foliage and a variety of other materials all flow down the drain. This is often referred to as urban runoff. In addition to these solid waste items, liquids such as paint, anti-freeze, pesticides, bleach, soap and motor oil can also flow with the rainwater. According to the Keep America Beautiful website, 18% of all littered items end up in waterways as pollution.

The storm drain system must process several millions of gallons of water in just a few hours. Just one acre-foot is equal to 325,851 gallons of water, so imagine how much rainwater can fall onto each square mile of a city.

Dumped fluids don't flow directly into our drinking water, but it does go directly into natural waterways, maybe a river, a lake or the ocean. It is an easy bet that wild animals, fish and plants are going to have to deal with whatever gets dumped in these.

Research by Keep America Beautiful Inc., has found that people litter because:

  • They feel no sense of ownership, even though areas such as parks and beaches are public property.
  • They believe someone else-a park maintenance or highway worker- will pick up after them.
  • Litter has already accumulated, and a little more is okay.

The reality is… YOU do make a difference, each and every person can and does make a difference, so PLEASE "Don't Feed the Storm Drain."

For more information, please contact Ed Helton at 682-831-4614.

Storm Drain Inspections

The Storm Drainage component includes the bi-annual inspection of the Towns 450 + storm drain inlets and associated structures. All necessary repairs are made at this time and collected debris is disposed of in area landfills.

To report a problem with a storm sewer or illegal dumping, click here or contact Ed Helton at 682-831-4614.

To report an illegal dumping you are witnessing, please call 972-434-5500 (metro).