City asks residents to “Adopt” a catch basin

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Bellevue Avenue

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Newport, RI As the foliage turns and leaves start to fall, Newport’s Department of Utilities is asking the public for help to keep the City’s storm drains and catch basins free and clear of those fleetingly beautiful autumn leaves.

With 2,544 catch basins located throughout the City, Newport’s storm drainage system requires constant attention. This task falls to staff from the Water Pollution Control Division, who inspect, clean, and repair catch basins across the City on an ongoing basis throughout the year. During the fall, however, keeping each of the City’s catch basins clear can be a rather daunting task.

This year, the City is asking residents to “adopt” the catch basins in front of their homes and businesses, and help keep the surface free of debris.

Free-flowing catch basins not only help prevent ponding of rainwater on City streets, but they also help minimize the number of pollutants entering local waterways such as Newport Harbor.

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In addition, clogged catch basins can also result in minor street flooding, creating a nuisance for motorists, pedestrians, and businesses alike. Oftentimes, it doesn’t take much more than a thin layer of leaves to block these critical drainage elements.

Residents interested in “adopting” a catch basin are reminded of the following rules of thumb:

  • Clear your drain only if it is safe. Watch out for traffic. Don’t clear drains that are in the middle of a street.
  • Be careful of standing water to avoid slipping or stepping on sharp objects.
  • If children are helping, make sure adults are supervising.
  • Don’t try to lift storm drain grates. They are very heavy.
  • Clear only drains next to the curb. Clear from curbside, not out in the street.
  • Let the City’s crews handle garbage or any hazards that might be found in the catch basin. Clear surface debris only.

If the drain is still clogged after you’ve removed the surface debris, please call the Department of Utilities at 845-5600 and they’ll investigate further to correct any defect.

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