Funny storm drain names? Grate!

·2 min read

Oct. 1—Is there an orphan drain in your neighborhood?

Adopting a drain is easy, helps prevent flooding, reduces pollution, is good for the environment and is rewarding.

Almost as rewarding as naming your adopted drain.

The Adopt-a-Drain program was established more than a decade ago by Hamline University's Center for Global Environmental Education. Communities in four states have joined the program. Nearly 9,000 people have volunteered to regularly clear and clean more than 16,000 storm drains. In the last year and a half, volunteers have removed more than 300,000 pounds of trash from storm drains in Minnesota that would have wound up in the Mississippi River watershed.

People who adopt drains are asked to help keep neighborhood drains free of litter and debris and spend about 15 minutes twice a month checking on their adopted drain.

The city of Rochester participates in the program. You can check to see if drains near your home are available to adopt at the program website at

You can also see what other people have named their drains. It's worth taking a dive into the names of some of the adopted drains.

There's a myriad of Dwayne (or Duane) puns, a few Purple Drains and versions of Drainy McDrain Face.

Pop culture references include nods to the sewer dwelling killer clown in Stephen King's "IT" with "Here Lies Pennywise" on Shetland Place Northwest and "IT Doesn't Live Here" on Colleen Street Northeast.

Game of Thrones has representation including "Daenerys Stormborn, First of her Drain" on 17th Street Northwest. (I would have just gone with Daenerys Stormdrain for brevity.) There's "Trogdor the Drainenator" at Fifth Avenue Northeast for fans of old-school internet humor.

Some good names come in groups or pairs:

"Ole" and "Lena" on 14th Street Northwest.

"Bert" and "Ernie" on Fourth Avenue Southeast.

"Fred" and "Ethel" on 8 1/2 Avenue Southeast.

"Alvin" and "Simon" (though there is no Theodore nearby) on Eighth Avenue Southeast.

Other fun names with puns and jokes populate the map.

"Sewer, I hardly knew her" on Seventh Avenue Southwest.

"Alexander the Grate" on 23rd Avenue Northwest.

"Roady Hole" on 21st Avenue Northwest.

"Moist Von Lipwig" on Seventh Street Southwest.

"Drano" on Third Street Southeast.

"Shania Drain" on Manorwoods Drive Northwest.

A couple acknowledge the work area students do to help keep drains clean and litter out of stormwater runoff. Yes, "Lincoln School rocks" (Lincoln Elementary on Eighth Avenue Southeast) and John Adams Middle School with its dry drain name, "John Adams."

Did some of these make you groan? Think you can do better? Adopt a drain and sink your best name into it.

John Molseed is a tree-hugging Minnesota transplant making his way through his state parks passport. This column is a space for stories of people doing their part (and more) to keep Minnesota green. Send questions, comments and suggestions to