Help Protecting the City's Drainage Infrastructure

How Can the Community Help Maintaining the City’s Drainage Infrastructure?

  • Participate in the City’s Adopt-A-Drain Program: 
  • By adopting a drain and keeping it clear of leaves and trash, you are helping to keep Houston clean and reduce flooding.
  • Maintain your roadside ditches and swales open and free of clippings, leaves, limbs, and other garden debris so that nothing obstructs the flow of stormwater.
  • Do not misuse your open ditch or swale by avoiding parking vehicles in the ditch or swale because it compacts the soil and allows less stormwater runoff to soak into the ground.
  • Let stormwater pond. When water ponds in the roadside ditch or swale for 24 to 36 hours, the ditch or swale is doing its job and will eventually convey water to an inlet or allow it to percolate into the soil. Advise local officials about flooding only if water ponds so long that ditch or swale vegetation begins to die.
  • When landscaping your property, remember that you should never change the grading of slopes that drain into canals, waterways, or lakes. The grading is based on state and local minimum requirements and was designed to meet water quantity and quality criteria.
  • Build green infrastructure applications in your property. Green infrastructure helps minimize the impacts of development and mimic how rainfall behaves when it falls onto a green landscape. Resources at and 
  • Go green! Go plastic free! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!