How to Clear a Storm Water Drain: A Comprehensive Guide

To clear a storm water drain, remove debris from the opening and flush it out with water. Proper maintenance can prevent future blockages.

Storm water drains are essential for preventing flooding during heavy rains, but they can quickly become clogged with leaves, dirt, and other debris. In some cases, clogs can even cause the drain to overflow and create a safety hazard. Fortunately, clearing a storm water drain is a relatively simple process that involves removing any debris from the drain’s opening and flushing it out with water. To prevent future clogs, homeowners and businesses should perform regular maintenance on their storm water drains, which may include trimming nearby trees and disposing of yard waste properly. With proper care, storm water drains can continue to protect properties and prevent costly damage.

How to Clear a Storm Water Drain: A Comprehensive Guide


Identifying The Problem

Signs Of A Clogged Storm Water Drain

A clogged stormwater drain is a serious problem for many homeowners. When water cannot flow without obstruction, it can quickly lead to flooding and water damage. Identifying the problem is the first step in clearing a blocked stormwater drain.

  • Standing water in your yard after rainfall.
  • Water pooling around your property’s foundation.
  • Funny smells coming from your drains or yard.
  • Slow-draining toilets or sinks.
  • Gurgling sounds coming from your pipes.

How To Locate The Drain

Finding the stormwater drain is a crucial step before clearing it. The drain catchment point is usually located at the lowest point of a property.

  • Check the blueprints of your property to see the location of the stormwater drainage system.
  • Look for a rectangular or circular grate that is usually located in the driveway, sidewalk, or street.
  • If you cannot find the drain on your own, you can hire a professional plumbing service to assist you.

With these tips, homeowners can easily identify and locate stormwater drains on their properties. Once you have found your drain, you can take the necessary steps to clear it and prevent water damage from occurring. Remember, it is important to stay vigilant and keep an eye out for the signs of a clogged drain to prevent any potential water damage.

Preparing For The Clearing Process

Clearing a stormwater drain is a crucial task to ensure that rainfall and water runoff are efficiently channeled away from residential and commercial areas. Heavy rains or floods can cause a blocked stormwater drain, which can lead to flooding, damage to properties and the environment, and even health hazards.

Therefore, it’s essential to have the necessary tools and protective gear to carry out the task safely and efficiently. In this section, we will discuss the necessary safety measures to take and the tools, equipment, and protective clothing required to ensure a successful clearing process.

Safety Measures To Take

Clearing a stormwater drain can be risky if you are not properly prepared or do not follow the right procedures.

  • Turn off any electrical appliances near the drain to avoid electrocution.
  • Mark the area surrounding the drain with warning signs to prevent people from stepping on dangerous spots.
  • Ensure that the clearing process is carried out in daylight when visibility is excellent.
  • Wear protective gear, including gloves, boots, and eyewear.
  • Avoid standing in water while clearing the drain, as it can be dangerous; the water may have hidden objects that can cause you to slip or fall.
  • Have a first aid kit nearby in case of an emergency.

Tools And Equipment Needed

Clearing a stormwater drain requires different types of tools and equipment. Having these tools and equipment nearby is crucial to ensure a successful cleaning process.

  • Shovel or spade: to dig out leaves, debris, and other materials blocking the drain.
  • Plunger: to loosen and push out any debris stuck in the drain.
  • Drain snake: to remove any solid blockages and debris in the drain.
  • Garden hose: to flush out debris and test the flow of water after cleaning.
  • Bucket: to collect debris cleared from the drain.
  • Tarpaulin: to place debris cleared from the drain.
  • High-pressure water jet: used only if any blockage is not cleared using the above tools.

Protective Clothing And Gear Required

Protective gear is vital when clearing stormwater drains to ensure that you are not injured during the process. Proper protective gear will also protect you from falling ill or developing allergies caused by the debris and stagnant water.

  • Gloves: to protect your hands from harmful materials
  • Boots: to protect your feet and keep them dry while working in the water
  • Goggles or eyewear- to protect your eyes from debris and harmful bacteria that may cause infections.
  • Dust mask: to prevent inhalation of dust and debris while working near the drain.

How To Acquire The Necessary Items

Knowing what you need is one thing, but acquiring them is another. If you need to acquire some of these tools, you can easily find them in hardware stores or home improvement shops. These tools are also available online, with many sites offering quick delivery.

Always ensure that you purchase durable and high-quality tools to avoid low-quality items breaking or not working correctly, which can lead to a blocked drain and potential flooding.

In the next segment of this post, we will discuss the cleaning process, outlining step by step procedures to follow to ensure a successful clearing process.

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Clearing The Storm Water Drain

Steps To Follow When Clearing The Blockage

Clearing a blocked stormwater drain can be an easy or challenging task, depending on the level of the blockage.

  • Wear protective gear, including gloves and goggles, to avoid injury or infection from the debris in the drain.
  • Remove the grate or cover on top of the stormwater drain to access the blockage.
  • Remove any surface debris from the drain to expose the blockage.
  • Use a plumbing snake or a pressure washer to break up the blockage. A plumbing snake is best for hard blockages, while a pressure washer is useful for soft blockages. Start with a low setting, gradually increasing the pressure until the blockage clears.
  • Flush the drain with a garden hose or use the pressure washer on a low setting until the water flows smoothly.
  • Replace the cover or grate on top of the stormwater drain.

Different Methods For Different Types Of Blockages

Not all blockages are created equal, and different types of blockages may require different techniques to clear.

  • Debris blockages: these are blockages that are caused by everyday waste and items that people discard, such as leaves, twigs, and plastic bags. The easiest way to clear this type of blockage is by removing the debris from the top of the drain using protective gear.
  • Grease blockages: grease blockages are caused by oil and fat that harden in the pipes and block the flow of water. To clear this blockage, boil water in a pot and pour it slowly down the drain. The hot water will melt the grease and push it down the pipe.
  • Chemical blockages: a chemical blockage occurs when something chemical is poured down the drain, resulting in a blockage. To clear this type of blockage, use a chemical drain cleaner as directed, or call a professional plumber.

How To Safely And Efficiently Remove Debris

It’s important to remove debris from the stormwater drain efficiently and safely.

  • Don’t use your hands to remove debris from the drain; use a rake or shovel instead to avoid injury or infection.
  • Wear protective gear including gloves and goggles when removing debris.
  • Dispose of the debris properly, in a compost bin or trash can.
  • Regularly clear debris from the stormwater drain to prevent blockages from happening.

Preventing Future Blockages

Measures To Take To Prevent Future Blockages

Preventing future blockages in stormwater drains can save you from a whole lot of trouble in the future.

  • Never pour oil, grease, or chemicals down the drain as it can stick to the drain pipes and cause blockages.
  • Keep your yard and surrounding areas clean. Debris, leaves, and trash can accumulate in the drain pipes and block the flow of water.
  • Install drain covers to prevent unwanted debris and trash from entering the stormwater drain system.
  • Make sure that your gutters and downspouts are clean and do not overflow into the stormwater drain system.
  • Check the slope of your yard to see if it is draining water in the right direction. If it’s not, you might need to regrade your yard or add drain pipes to transport water to the correct location.

Maintenance Tips For Storm Water Drains

Routine maintenance of stormwater drains can prevent blockages and keep the drainage system working efficiently.

  • Regularly clear debris that collects around the stormwater drain inlet.
  • Inspect the drain pipes annually to check for any signs of damage or blockages and clean them if necessary.
  • Check the condition of the drain covers, grates, and frames and repair or replace them as needed.
  • Inform your local council if you notice any signs of damage, blockages, or overflows in the stormwater drain system.

When To Seek Professional Assistance

Preventative measures and routine maintenance can go a long way in keeping your stormwater drains clear and free from blockages. However, in some cases, you may need to seek help from a professional.

  • If you notice signs of a blockage, such as water pooling in your yard or slow drainage
  • If there is foul odour or bubbling sounds from the drain
  • If you notice any cracks or signs of damage in the pipes
  • If you have tried diy methods, and the issue persists

Ignoring any of these signs may lead to more serious problems in the future. Therefore, it’s best to seek professional assistance to resolve the issue before it causes significant damage.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Clear A Storm Water Drain

How Do I Know If My Storm Water Drain Is Clogged?

If water is not draining or is pooling around the drain, your storm water drain may be clogged.

Can I Clear A Clogged Storm Water Drain Myself?

Yes, you can use a drain snake or a high-pressure water jet to clear the clog yourself.

What Should I Do If I Can’T Clear The Drain Myself?

If you can’t clear the drain yourself, contact a plumber or a professional drain cleaning service.

How Often Should I Clean My Storm Water Drain?

It is recommended to clean your storm water drain at least once a year, especially before the rainy season.

Can I Prevent My Storm Water Drain From Getting Clogged?

Yes, you can prevent your storm water drain from getting clogged by clearing leaves, debris or garbage off the drain regularly.


As the rainy season approaches, it’s essential to ensure that your stormwater drain remains clear for proper drainage. Neglecting your stormwater maintenance can lead to flooding and damage to your property. The process of clearing a stormwater drain may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

By following the tips we have discussed in this blog post, a blocked drain won’t be a significant concern. The critical thing to remember is that regular maintenance and inspection are key to keeping your stormwater drain safe and functioning.

It’s always better to take precautions and be prepared before heavy rainfall rather than dealing with the consequences of a blocked drain during the storm. With these tips in mind, you can be confident in properly clearing your stormwater drain and preventing damage caused by flooding.

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