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What You Can Do to Help Prevent Flooding

There's actually a lot New Yorkers can do to protect our City from flooding. For additional tips to prevent your home from flooding, download our Homeowner's Guide to Rain Event Preparedness (PDF).

Clean Your Nearest Catch Basin

DEP does its best to keep catch basins clear of debris—but all New Yorkers can chip in. Pick up your leaves for collection each fall. Check guidelines and dates of the Department of Sanitation's free leaf collection program at If you see a catch basin that is clogged, you can report it by calling 311 or filling in an online form. You can also remove litter, leaves or other debris from the grates of a catch basin to help it function at its best.

Conserve Water

One way to reduce pressure on overburdened sewers is to use less water in our homes and businesses. The less water we use, the less sanitary flow we create, and the more space there will be for stormwater runoff during heavy storms. Reducing our waste flow also has the added benefit of curbing greenhouse gas emissions. The less waste we produce, the less energy it takes for the City's 14 wastewater treatment plants to process sewer flows. To get started, check out these Water Saving Tips and learn about DEP's water Conservation Programs.

Treat the Wastewater System with Care

Though wastewater treatment seems like a technical process, there are lots of things each of us can do to help maintain a healthy water system. Learn about our Wastewater Treatment System and How You Can Make a Difference.

Become a Green Gardener

The way you plant your garden and care for your yard can have a significant impact on what winds up in our sewer system. For one thing, planting trees, plants and grass can enhance the absorption of rain water and help prevent flooding. Whenever possible, consider planting rather than paving over your green space. It's also good to consider clean alternatives when it comes to fertilizer and compost. Find information you can use to grow a water-saving garden here.

The City's Climate Change Program

Local government is leading the way in addressing the many challenges we're likely to face as global warming intensifies. In accordance with the New York City Mayor’s Office, DEP has developed a comprehensive Climate Change Program. The program requires that planning and development take into account and respond to climate-change related risks. It calls specifically for planning, engineering and design processes that will help make our systems more resilient to flooding, today and tomorrow.

Green Infrastructure