Celebrating The Winter Sewerstice

Yes! It’s that time of year, the rainy season in San Francisco, when you should run out and Adopt a Drain! Pick a convenient drain near your home from the map, and commit to clear the leaves from it every once in a while so that no one will get flooded on that corner or have to wade through a gross, trashy, leafy pond at the curb during a rainstorm.

I had no real reason to do this but went downtown anyway out of curiosity to the parking garage of the SF Public Utilities Commission where I was given nice leather work gloves, a sturdy dustpan, my choice of brooms (I took the small one which I could strap onto the back of my wheelchair), and a yellow utility vest.

Inspired by the cameraman asking me questions about the Mighty Civic Feelings that led me to adopt a drain, I decided to name my drain at Mission and Cortland “Drainy McDrainface”. I also mentioned liking open data projects and reporting problems with sidewalks, streets, and intersections through 311.

Every time it’s about to rain significantly, the city sends me an email reminding me to check my adopted corner! I go out and give it a poke! From my friends’ feedback on Facebook it sounds like Oakland, Belmont, and Redwood City, and likely other towns in the Bay Area have similar programs.

I was sort of hoping they would let me drive a street sweeper, or give us all an informative tour of the SFPUC building and a certificate of Drain Adoption with a gold seal on it but…. alas, no. Maybe next time!

So what should the holiday name be for this event? Drainukkah? Sewermas? Winter Sewerstice?

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