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Nashville uses storm drain adoption to fight localized flooding

(WZTV)

Metro Nashville has a new way to prevent neighborhood flooding, like middle Tennessee has seen all-too-often this spring.

The program calls for more than 40,000 volunteers to adopt storm drains around the Nashville area.

"You’ll see leaves, yard clippings, any type of debris, a lot of litter, Styrofoam cups, trash bags, and all that sitting on top of a storm drain can prevent the water from getting into it.” Sonia Allman said.

Allman is with Metro Water Services. She said clogged storm drains are a big part of the problem in Nashville.

The large scale adoption effort is spearheaded by the Nashville Clean Water Project. Mark Thien is the group's executive director.

"There’s 44,000 storm drains," Thien said. "This entire system is built with GIS-enabled software. It’s Esri software, which is industry-leading for the development community. Literally you can sit in your office and pick one on your computer or you can pick one on your phone."

Kelly Stewart is founder of the Nashville hiking meet-up. The outdoorsman recently adopted three storm drains near his home in Nipper's Corner. He's hoping to convince his hiking friends and neighbors to do the same.

“Doesn’t really interrupt what you’re doing throughout the day, and if something’s wrong with it, snap a picture, upload it to the website and give a quick report to the Nashville Clean Water Project," Stewart said.

For smaller jobs, the hope is people will pitch in and get trash, yard waste and other debris out of the way before it causes trouble.The other benefit is clean water because everything that goes down a storm drain, winds up in our creeks, rivers and lakes.

Hands on Nashville is also partnering with the NCWP and Metro Water Services to involve its supporters.

So far, the city is only offering storm drains for adoption on roads where the posted speed limit are less than 35 mph for safety reasons.

Here's a snapshot of the mapping detail:

  • Greater Bellevue Area = 3,300 drains
  • Greater Brentwood Area = 2,700 drains
  • Greater Donnelson Area = 1,100 drains
  • Greater East Nashville Area = 2,500 drains
  • Greater Green Hills Area = 1,000 drains
  • Greater Hermitage Area = 2,500 drains
  • Greater Antioch Area = 4,800 drains

To learn more about how to adopt a storm drain, click here.

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