Adopt a Drain Volunteer Resources

Terms of Service

All volunteers are expected to conduct themselves in a safe, courteous and legal manner while participating in activities on City property or right-of-way. Please follow these guidelines:

Drain Cleaning Tips

  • Check and clean your drain once a month between May and October, weekly between November and February, and two times a month between March and April. 
  • Check and clean the drain before a forecasted storm event. Check the drain again after the storm for any accumulated debris.
  • Clear the drain top with a broom, rake, or shovel. Complete the Tool Request Form if you need to borrow a rake, broom, garbage picker and/or scoop shovel from the Public Works Department.
  • Clean the gutter on both sides of the inlet.
  • Do not push debris into the inlet.
  • Do not remove the grate or try to clean the inside of the inlet.
  • After cleaning your drain, complete the online report form so we can track your efforts.    

General Safety

  • Wear appropriate footwear, clothing, work gloves, hat, and sun protection.
  • Keep hydrated.

Traffic Safety

  • When possible, stay out of the street.
  • When working in or around a gutter, work from the sidewalk.
  • If working near traffic, wear a bright reflective work vest or bright-colored clothing.
  • Cross streets at signals or crosswalks, not mid-block.

Tool Safety

  • Do not use power tools.
  • Carry tools carefully to avoid hitting others.
  • Use the right tools for the job.
  • Never allow children to play with tools or to use sharp tools.
  • Keep your tools close to you at all times.
  • Count and clean your tools after an activity/cleanup.
  • Complete the Tool Request Form if you need to borrow a rake, broom, garbage picker and/or scoop shovel from the Public Works Department. 

Debris Removal

  • Do not pick up sharp objects with your hands. Use a broom, rake or shovel.
  • If possible, place debris into carts at home. Separate out items to be recycled, leaves and garbage.
  • If debris does not fit into your carts at home, use City-issued leaf bags (available at the Public Works Service Center, 14200 Chapman Road). The bags are available from October through January. Leaf bags are placed next to your green cart on your normal garbage pick-up day and are removed free of charge.
  • For large volumes of debris, contact Public Works at 510-577-3440 for pickup. Debris must be bagged and set out at the curb. Indicate that you are an Adopt a Drain participant and provide the quantity of bags to be collected, type of debris and the nearest address.
  • Do not touch hazardous or medical waste in the right-of-way (including automotive fluids and hypodermic needles). Report items to the Public Works Department at 510-577-3440 for pickup.
  • Report illegal dumping, shopping carts, graffiti, and other issues in the right-of-way by calling the Public Works message line at 510-577-3400.

The Prepare San Leandro initiative was funded by a grant from Cities of Service. For more information, please visit