Inside storm drain cleaning with ADOT

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - It's a pretty dirty job, Arizona Department of Transportation crews cleaning freeway storm drains so they can run smoothly during monsoon storms.

It's not an easy job, but someone has to do it.

ADOT is preparing for monsoon season by heading below ground to the drainage pumps where stormwater collects off the freeways.

You may not realize it, but there are 59 pump stations along the Valley freeway system. Stormwater collects through a pump system where massive pumps with thousands of horsepower draw out the water.

"This is all about where the drainage goes, where the stormwater goes when we've got the storms here in the valley," said Doug Nintzel, with ADOT. "They head through the drainage pipes, and one big pipe leads to the pump station then wet well down here and that's where the water gathers. This is where the water is going to build up then the pumps will kick on to lift the water out of this area and it goes into the nearby retention basin."

When the chance of rain amps up during monsoon reason, the possibility of flooding from clogged storm drains does as well.

It's a dirty job! Litter and debris flooding in with stormwater from the road gets carried directly into the system.

"We have to maneuver our pipe to the debris so that we can actually lift it up four stories into our debris truck," explained Nintzel.

If that system clogs, the drain can no longer do its job and the freeway floods, causing a danger of hydroplaning and accidents.

In the meantime, ADOT is very busy clean sweeping Valley freeway drains so when those storms do roll in our freeways don't flood.