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SFPUC Recognizes Adopt a Drain SF Volunteers for their Efforts with a Celebration at the California Academy of Sciences
Posted Date: 7/30/2019 10:30 AM
San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and a diverse collection of more than 100 residents and business owners from across San Francisco gathered at the California Academy of Sciences on Sunday, July 28 to celebrate the success of the agency’s Adopt a Drain program.

“We are so grateful for our drain adopters and their concerted efforts to partner with us while we work to protect our environment and minimize the risk of flooding in our communities,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan Kelly, Jr. “Our Adopt a Drain SF volunteers represent a diverse array of neighborhoods and communities from across the City, and all share the same commitment to civic pride.”

Adopt a Drain SF allows San Franciscans to “adopt” one of the City’s 25,000 drains (also known as catch-basins) with the pledge that they will clean and maintain the fixtures to reduce the risk of flooding. The initiative, which began in fall 2016, raises awareness about the importance of keeping catch basins clear of leaves and debris to allow stormwater to flow easily into San Francisco’s combined sewer system. 

To date, more than 3,000 drains have been adopted by over 2,000 community members. As of February, service requests to address issues related to flooding were reported at 36 percent below expected levels over a two-year period since the launch of the program, illustrating the effectiveness of the resident initiative. 

The celebratory event at the California Academy of Sciences gave the drain adopters and their guests a chance to network and learn more about the SFPUC's other programs, such as CleanPowerSF, the Rain Guardians program and groundwater initiatives. As a token of appreciation, event guests enjoyed free admission to the Academy at the end of the event.

“I have been a Drain Adopter since early 2017 in my neighborhood of the Mission District and I take great pride in knowing that I’m making a difference,” said drain adopter Karen Rhodes. “Adopt a Drain SF is such a great program, that I joined the SFPUC’s Rain Guardian Program, and became “guardians” of our rain gardens.”

“I adopted a drain because serving my community is very rewarding and it makes me happy,” said Jose Rosas, one of the early drain adopters who spoke at the event, “We are all neighbors who are working together to make San Francisco a better and more beautiful place to live, work, and play.”

About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and generates clean power for municipal buildings, residents, and businesses. The SFPUC’s mission is to provide customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at