A storm drain, which is sometimes known as a catch basin, is essentially used to collect water run-off from rain water while channeling it out and away from buildings, yards, parking lots or other areas where it might pool and potentially cause damage.
Clogged storm drains negate this function, and if not taken care of quickly, water damage could occur that may cause substantial harm to the surrounding area that the storm drain was meant to protect. You could be looking at considerable repair costs, which is why clogged storm drains should be addressed as soon as possible.
Causes of Clogged Storm Drains
Because storm drains carry water from such things as roof gutters, standing water in grassy areas and other places on the exterior of a residential home or commercial property, many things can get into a storm drain. Leaves, twigs, pebbles, soil, paper goods and the like can get washed through the grating of a storm drain and potentially plug up the outlet pipe, or actually fill up the catch basin itself.
Material items like shirts, towels, and even toys can lodge on top of the grating and stop water flowing through the slats. Once that occurs, the drain effectiveness will become compromised, and either the grate, the basin or the pipe itself will have to be cleaned.
However, this is not something to be overly concerned about. Foreign objects are a natural part of being in an outside environment, and since storm drains literally funnel everything to the basin and out of the drain pipe, storm drain checks and sometimes routine maintenance is common and needed on a semi-regular or annual basis. In fact, just checking and removing a foreign object off the grate itself may be all that is needed to keep a storm drain working at 100% efficiency.
Of course, the biggest problem with storm drains is removing anything that may be blocking the actual grate. Sweeping the grate with a broom will remove any debris, and you can do this task as needed.
The actual catch basin itself may clog from debris, and when this happens, you may have to remove the actual grate. They usually just snap on and off or have a couple of screws that need to be taken out, and once the cover grate is removed, you’ll have access to the actual catch basin proper.
A quick way to clean a catch basin is to use a wet vac and suck out any debris that may have accumulated inside, including a storm drain basin clogged with soil. When initially installed, the basin was clear of anything in the bottom, and by using a wet vac, you can make sure nothing remains in the bottom of the basin that may be blocking the pipe.
Of course, this technique may work fine for residential storm drain cleaning, but for commercial clogged storm drains, a professional should always be called in.
If the basin is clean and clear but the storm drain is still not functioning properly, there may be a problem on the other end. The storm drain pipe discharges at a set place, and the end of the drain pipe must also be free and clear of debris. Anything blocking the end of the storm drain pipe must be removed, and this also includes plants which have rooted and are growing in the nearby vicinity.
Plants, bushes and trees are generally planned for and avoided when a storm drain pipe is laid down in place. However, through time, plants can begin to grow in the area and cause blockage that may impede the water flow out of the drain. If you can’t take care of this yourself, and it may be as simple as pulling weeds at the pipe exit, you may have to contract out for some professional storm drain cleaning.
Storm Drain Satisfaction
Your storm drain was installed to give you years of satisfaction with minimal maintenance to worry about. In most instances, they work flawlessly and need just a bit of care to keep them working and channeling water away.
But if your storm drain or catch basin is not functioning properly, or you have questions about how to clean them or keeping them clean, in either a residential or commercial setting, please contact us at Duncan Plumbing. We are your storm drain cleaning contractors, and we service Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, San Lorenzo Valley, Scotts Valley and the Watsonville areas. For all of your plumbing and clogged storm drains, call us at (831) 476-1712.