Getting Started

What is the Adopt-a-Drain program asking of me?

  • To clean on and around your drain at least every two weeks
  • To fill out a cleaning form (see “Existing Adopters“) after you clean your drain so the impact of the program can be tracked
  • To consider cleaning before major precipitation or snow melt events (a weather app can help you figure out when these might be)

How do I adopt a drain?

  1. Open this form and type in an address within Delaware City to find an unadopted drain near that address (red drains are unadopted, blue drains are adopted)
  2. Fill out the form to adopt a drain of your choosing (required questions have a red * next to them)
  3. Congratulations, you have adopted a drain!

Additional steps to be completed for first-time drain adopters:

  1. Please read the safety instructions before cleaning your drain for the first time (see the section below)
  2. Fill out a waiver for each person participating in drain cleaning activities. The Adopt-a-Drain (Delaware, OH) Waiver & Photo Release is available as a Google Form and as a PDF. Send completed PDFs to

Safety Instructions:

Please stay safe while cleaning your drain by following these guidelines:

  • Do not attempt to clean the inside or reach into a drain (if there is a problem with the inside please use the Del-AWARE web portal to report it)
  • Do not attempt to remove a drain’s grate
  • Clean only during the daytime
  • If there is a sidewalk adjacent to your drain, please clean from there, and if there is not, face oncoming traffic and be aware of your surroundings while in the road
  • Consider wearing reflective clothing
  • Consider wearing gloves and using additional supplies to help clean your drain
  • Be mindful that there might be sharp or other harmful items around your drain

Frequently Asked Questions

Adopting a Drain

How many drains can I adopt?˅

There is no limit to the amount of drains you can adopt. However, it is recommended that you only adopt drains that you can commit to caring for regularly.

Do I have to live near or have my business/organization near the drain I want to adopt?˅

Not at all, though it might be more convenient since then the drain would be in an area you frequent.

I do not see the drain I wish to adopt on the map, what should I do?˅

Please place the marker on the map near the approximate location of that drain.

What if I do not want to provide an email address on the adoption form but another form of communication?

You can provide another form of communication if you would like, just make sure it ends with something that resembles an email domain otherwise the system will not allow it. For example, for a phone number, you could submit

How long is this a commitment for?˅

You can unadopt a drain anytime by emailing

Do I have to be a certain age to participate?˅

All ages are welcome to participate in the program, however those under 18 will need the permission of a parent and/or guardian.

Cleaning a Drain

Do I have to clean my drain every two weeks?˅

It is recommended that your drain is cleaned every two weeks as debris and litter can accumulate in that time span. With regular cleanings, each cleaning should only be about 5-15 minutes.

What if I forget to clean my drain for an extended period of time?˅

It is never too late to start re-cleaning your drain! Adopt-a-Drain (Delaware, OH) will also send out seasonal reminders reminding you to clean your drain. The goal of the reminder is to be friendly.

Will I be provided with cleaning materials?˅

The first 144 people to sign up will be eligible to receive a pair of Adopt-a-Drain (Delaware, OH) work gloves. Otherwise, the use of garden gloves, rakes, trash grabbers, and other similar materials is recommended to assist you in cleaning your drain.

What is “around” my drain when it comes to cleaning around my drain?˅

“Around” is approximately ten (10) feet. Cleaning any immediate areas that the water will flow through before entering the drain is recommended.

What is the cleaning form?˅

The cleaning form allows Adopt-a-Drain (Delaware, OH) to keep track of its impact (along with your impact!). Please fill out a cleaning form each time you clean your drain. The form is available as a Survey123.


What part of this program has to do with Ohio Wesleyan University?˅

The creation of this program was partially funded through Ohio Wesleyan University’s (OWU’s) Small Grant Program; the recipient of the grant was OWU student Savannah Domenech and she was overseen by her advisor Dr. John Krygier. In addition, the program’s website (what you are currently viewing) is hosted by an OWU server.

Who at the City of Delaware can I contact about this program?˅

Please contact Lisa Roberts (, the City’s Watershed and Sustainability Coordinator.