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The original item was published from 10/4/2018 10:22:00 AM to 10/4/2018 10:33:29 AM.

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Natural Resources

Posted on: October 8, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Remember to Clean Leaves from Streets and Sidewalks to Prevent Street Flooding and Help Local Lakes


Leaves left in the curb and gutter will get washed into stormdrains when it rains. This can clog stormdrains and cause flooding. Leaves washed into stormdrains also end up in local lakes where they cause algal blooms when they break down.

We need your help keeping leaves out of stormdrains on the street.  Stormdrains are connected to neighborhood ponds and lakes by underground pipes.  What gets washed into stormdrains when it rains, ends up in those same lakes and ponds.  Leaves may seem pretty harmless, but they can cause a lot of damage.  First, leaves can clog those drains and pipes.  This increases the risk of flooding in the street, ponds, or other low laying areas.  But leaves cause water quality problems too.  As leaves break down, they release phosphorus into the water.  Too much phosphorus leads to excessive algal growth (algae bloom) that turns lake and pond water pea soup green; in some cases it can even lead to Harmful Algal Blooms.  5 bags of leaves can produce enough phosphorus to grow 500 pounds of algae.  City street sweepers can't take care of the job on their own; we only have 3 sweepers for over 400 lane miles of road and can't be everywhere at once.  That's where you come in.  By regularly cleaning leaves from the curb in front of our homes, we can keep our stormwater system free flowing and clean.

Information on How to Dispose of Leaves...
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