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Because of recent heavy rains, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department officials are urging residents to make sure the catch basins near their homes are clear to prevent floods.

“A small step such as clearing the catch basin on a regular basis really helps to protect our sewer system and also can prevent flood damage to homes,” Gary Brown, the water department’s director said Wednesday in a statement. “The combination of a heavy rain and fall leaves can often block the sewer.”

Catch basins, or stormwater drains, are typically located in front of homes throughout the city. Detroit has more than 95,000 catch basins.

They function primarily as a way for rainwater to drain off the city’s streets and sidewalks and move to wastewater plants where it can be treated and released into the Detroit River. However, when the basins are clogged by leaves or other debris, they back up and flood neighborhoods and the basements of homes.

To prevent floods, the water department asks residents help to keep catch basins clear.

“It only takes a few seconds to help our system do what it is designed to do and help out your neighbors as well,” Brown added. “We view this as a shared responsibility of neighbors, block clubs and everybody on the block, to clear storm drains of debris.”

Residents who experience flooding in their homes should call the DWSD at (313) 267-7401.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2058

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