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Maria & John

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Maria & John

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Miami, FL Storm Drain Experts

Flooded Parking Lot? You Need to Have Your Storm Drains Cleaned

Storms drains, also called catch basins or french drains, drain off rain water from streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and roofs. In Miami about half of these storm drains drain to a waterway and half drain into the ground through a drainage line or soakage pit. Contrary to popular belief storm drains almost never tie into city infrastructure or public sewers.

How do storm drains work?

Rain water and debris travel through a steel grate and into a concrete box or cylinder, this is the storm drain. The size of the storm drain depends on age and amount of paved area it is designed to drain; usually holding between 50 gallons up to 1,000 gallons. The storm drain traps the debris and the water exits the drain. The storm drain has a outlet or transmission line to carry water out of the storm drain and into a canal, drainage line, or soakage pit.

Where does all the water go?

Most likely back into the ground, but sometimes directly to a waterway. When water is designed to go to a waterway a solid pipe is used as a transmission line. When water is designed to drain into the ground, a drainage line or soakage pit is used. A drainage line is a perforated pipe that sits in a rock bed that allows water to creep back into the soil and water table. Drainage lines usually range from 4 inches to 48 inches in diameter. A soakage pit is a large tunnel with concrete or coral rock side walls, a rock bottom, and concrete top thats allows water to seep out into the groundwater.

So why is my parking lot flooding?

It is simple. Debris, sand, leaves, and all sorts of junk are getting into the storm drains and blocking the drain lines. Overtime the sand and debris build up so much that the water entering the storm drain cannot exit and drain into the ground. Miami has an average rainfall of just over 61 inches per year of rainfall. All that rain is washing dirt and debris into your drains.

The solution?

Call A-Alligator as we are Miami’s best storm drain cleaning company. We will come with one of the most powerful vacuum trucks available on the market and clean the storm drain using a high pressure water jet to clean out the material in the drain line, or transmission line. The technicians have years of experience and have seen every kind of drainage system in Miami.

When you call our office we will ask you a few questions in order to give you an estimate over the phone. We are happy to ask any questions you have because we are great at what we do. No question is stupid. We educate our customers on every service we perform so you can have a full understanding of what needs to be done and why.

We have travelled the Miami roads for over 25 years. Our experienced drivers will find your property without any issues. From Collins Ave all the way to US-27 we have got your storm drains covered.

How do we get all the stuff out of the drain?

A vacuum truck with over 4000 cfm will come and rip the sand and debris out of the storm drain. A typical wet dry vac is around 30 cfm. When material is compacted in the bottom of the storm drain, we pressure wash it to break it up. This way it will be able to flow into the vacuum hose and onto our truck.

Next, we jet out the drain line or transmission line with high pressure water at 80 gallons per minute and 2,500 psi. FYI, a typical pressure washer is 6 to 8 gallons per minute of water.

What can I do to help keep my storm drains functional?

Try to prevent sand and muck in landscaped areas from draining in. Use curbing to stop this intrusion. Watch what is planted on your property. Ficus and oak trees are the second biggest killer of drain lines. The roots of these trees grow into the storm drains and drainage lines. Wire mesh installed over or under the grate does stop material from getting into the storm drain, but it is completely unpractical. The problem is you would have to clean it every week or two to prevent the material trapped in the mesh from stopping water from entering drain.

Can the debris be shoveled out?

Yes it will take you approximately 12 hours, and you will not get the drain line or transmission line clean. Without proper cleaning of the connected line, the concrete box will flood as soon as the water builds up. Servicing the concrete box will be useless, without the cleaning of the connected line. It is a combination of both services that allow the drainage system to function as a whole.


  • Storm Drain Cleaning

  • French Drain Cleaning

  • Water Jetting Also Know as Jet Rodding

  • Camera Inspections

  • Vac Truck Service

  • Soakage Pit

  • Hydro Excavation

Miami Storm Drainage Facts

How often should my storm
drains be cleaned?

Every 1-2 years depending on amount of sand and debris entering the catch basin.

How much does it cost to clean a storm drain?

Call our office now to get a free estimate (305) 944-0144

How long does it take to pump and clean a
Miami storm drain?

It takes anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour.

Get in touch

a-alligator, Inc Ft. Lauderdale Florida

(305) 944-0144


Licensed & Insured

Licensed florida department of health septic tank contractor.