February 26, 2014 - Cleaning ice off storm drains is important to help prevent flooding when the snow melts.
Independence Township Department of Public Works Director Linda Richardson said while the township does have maps on storm drain locations in some neighborhoods—it is not guaranteed.
Richardson said most homeowners are aware of where the drains are located on their property.
Although some drains on public roads are maintained by municipalities, private roads are another story, and is the responsibility of homeowners to keep them clear.
Richardson said it is also in a homeowners best interest to keep drains clear.
"Drains can get clogged unless you clear them," said Richardson.
In addition to the ice and snow this time of year, the drains can also get clogged by leaves and other debris in the other seasons.
If drains get clogged, and water does not have a place to go. Major flooding can occur which can result in extensive damage to homes and buildings.
Richardson said this time of year with all the snow it is important to keep drains clear so when all the snow melts it has someplace to go.
She added water from drains is released into waterways such as a retention ponds or another type of wetland. It is important to make sure the outlet near the waterway is cleared too.
If homeowners are facing a major flooding problem they should find the discharge point and ensure it is clear of any ice or debris.
Richardson said many times it is the subdivisions, or homeowners associations, that are in charge of things drains clean.
"Homeowners really need to be aware of this because it is their responsibility," added Richardson. "If water has no place to go it will just pool right there are could flood the road," she said.
– Andrea Beaudoin
Steps to clean a drain
-Use protective gear, such as gloves
-Remove any ice and snow covering the drain
-Use a screwdriver to open the drain
-Try to remove any impacted snow from the drain using a small shovel and place in a safe location away from the street
-Clear the area around the drain and apply salt to the area to reduce freezing around the drain
-In the fall if you need to clean out any leaf debris, remove any debris such as leaves, scrub and rinse with water.
-Replace the cover and screws