City crews work hard to keep storm drains clear but they need your help! Clear storm drains can prevent localized flooding that causes property damage and unsafe road conditions.

When raking leaves, some people rake and bag them for City pick-up. Others mow them into mulch on their lawns or dump the mulch into their compost piles. Others just blow leaves away from their property. That is fine if you have a place where you can safely blow leaves, such as a wooded area or onto a natural area on your property. Blowers are convenient, but eventually the leaves need to be cleared away. Blowing or raking leaves into a roadside ditch, storm drain or nearby pond is not the proper way to dispose of them.

Once a storm drain is clogged with leaves, the result is flooding on your street after a heavy rain. When runoff-driven leaves reach a waterway, they decompose, turning into nutrients as they would in a compost pile. Too many nutrients in a waterway cause algae blooms that can kill fish and other small animals.

Tips on Raking:

  • Never rake or blow leaves into the streets, ditches or storm drains.
  • Check with your locality to find out how leaves are collected (bagging, curbside vacuuming, etc.). Only place leaves and other yard debris at the curb on the designated pickup day.
  • Mow over your leaves to create finely chopped mulch and then simply leave them there. It’s one less chore you need to do and your lawn will love the mulch!
  • A family compost bin is a great place for leaves. Come spring, your garden will be thankful for the fertile soil.

For more information on how to get rid of your raked leaves, call Public Services at 803-642-7613.