The State of Hawaii uses a storm drain system to collect and divert flooding on the roads, in yards, and around homes and businesses throughout the islands. Storm drainage systems are common in coastal areas and are a great resource for flooding and water overflow prevention. The storm drains placed along streets and parking lots are meant for rainwater and groundwater only, as they flow directly to nearby waterways.

How storm drains work:

  1. Rainfall or surface water flows across impervious surfaces.
  2. Excess water (stormwater) builds and flows down roads, through yards, off roofs, etc.
  3. The excess water enters the drainage system via various inlets throughout the island.
  4. The storm water runoff passes through storm drains and enters nearby waterways.

Storm water runoff is not filtered before entering nearby waterways, which means debris, pollutants, and litter that are collected after entering the system are often found flowing into Hawaii’s streams and rivers, and directly into the ocean. Keep an eye out for storm drains all around you by looking for our “No Dumping Drains to Ocean” plaques and signs.

You can do you part to help prevent storm water pollution from entering Hawaii’s waterways by eliminating waste, properly disposing of trash, and practicing sustainability habits.

Help Protect Our Water and check out more baby, big and giant steps, here: