Storm drains: Much like garbage disposals or, say, the human digestive system, they’re the kind of thing you don’t really think about until they stop working. And stop working they have over the past week, as record-breaking rainfall has contributed to flooded streets in many Bay Area cities.
But in San Francisco, at least, the flooding also seems to have brought some positive attention to one normally unsexy aspect of our civic infrastructure. Via the city’s Adopt-a-Drain program, passionate citizen volunteers get sweet neon vests, equipment for clearing debris and, notably, naming rights over the storm drain of their choice. That’s how it came to be that there are drains scattered throughout San Francisco with official names like “Thirsty Boi,” “You’re So Drain,” “Here Comes the Drain Again,” “Drainmond Green” and — simply, beautifully — “Mac Drain.”