Norfolk neighborhood pilots adopt-a-storm drain app

The City of Norfolk, along with several technology groups, created an "Adopt-a-Drain" app that allows residents in Fairmount Park to take care of storm drains in their neighborhood (Photo courtesy of Visit Norfolk)
The City of Norfolk, along with several technology groups, created an “Adopt-a-Drain” app that allows residents in Fairmount Park to take care of storm drains in their neighborhood (Photo courtesy of Visit Norfolk)

NORFOLK — On the heels of Virginia Beach’s initiative to implement an adopt-a-drain program, Norfolk has created an app for a stormwater adoption program of their own.

Residents in the Fairmount Park neighborhood are the first in the city to pilot the adopt-a-drain app. Already 11 stormwater drains in the neighborhood have been “adopted,” according to a city release.

Residents in the neighborhood agreed to spearhead the program after experiencing stormwater drainage issues. The app allows residents to adopt a storm drain in their neighborhood and report on its maintenance to the city.

Although Virginia Beach has its own adopt-a-drain program, Norfolk’s app is unique in the region. Several organizations in the area, including Code for Hampton Roads and Code for America’s local brigade, partnered with Norfolk’s Office of Resilience to build the interactive mobile web app.

By “adopting” the drain, residents take ownership of their neighborhood and help reduce the need to use city resources to clean drains, which is a time-consuming, costly effort, especially during the fall season, according to the release.

The pilot program supports the city’s resilience strategy and efforts to become the coastal community of the future, as Norfolk faces flooding challenges caused by sea level-rise. For information on the resilience strategy and current initiatives, citizens can visit the city’s resilience website.

If the six-month pilot in Fairmount Park is successful, city officials said that they plan to expand the program to other neighborhoods.

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An extensive writing background and love of storytelling brought Joshua Weinstein to Southside Daily in 2017. You can find him reporting on Virginia Beach City Government, major land developments, and anything in the public interest.