NewsPinellas County


St. Pete Beach turns to residents to keep storm drains clean

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Posted at 4:38 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 05:43:59-04

The city of St. Pete Beach is responsible for about 1,000 storm drains, which is a lot to clean out when It rains or storms.

One of those drains is right in front of Lisa Robinson’s house. She said it’s a pain when it floods.

“it backs up into my yard and you can see the high tide mark in the yard,” she said. “all the debris comes up into my yard.”

City commissioner Mark Grill understands. This is the time of year when they get that life-interrupting flooding.

“We have areas that are three feet above flood level and others that go to 11 feet above flood level,” Grill said.

Some, like Robinson, have taken it upon themselves to clean the drains out.

“It helps me,” Robinson said.

Now Commissioner Grill is looking to make it an official St. Pete Beach program, by adopting the county’s program, which is called “Adopt A Drain.” Residents who sign up volunteer to be responsible for cleaning out storm drains after it rains.

“There’s really nothing we can do about flooding,” Grill said. “But our storm drains are very important in controlling flooding as well as from an environmental standpoint.”

Volunteers will be given a safety vest, cones, and bags to use when cleaning out the drains. They will also be asked to report when they see someone dumping trash, oil, sewage, or chemicals in the drains.

“This is part of good community service,” said Grill.

The county has a training video that volunteers must watch before signing up. It’s 35 minutes long.

St. Pete Beach leaders are looking into using that video, but Grill said he wants to see if they can use a shorter version of the video.

“We are asking to see if that’s possible,” said Grill.

City staff is working on a plan. Grill said he hopes to have the program, launched within the next 30 days or so.

“I don’t see any big roadblocks in the way,” Grill said.