PA American Water reminds customers to keep storm drains clear of fallen leaves

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Fallen leaves can block storm drains, resulting in excess storm water flooding into roadways

EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — As more leaves fall from trees, Pennsylvania American Water is reminding its customers to keep storm drains clear and free of leaves.

Fallen leaves can block storm drains, resulting in excess storm water flooding into roadways. Pennsylvania American Water says proper disposal of leaves and yard waste helps keep waterways clean and maintains water quality.

Any leaves that remain in storm drains will eventually decay and send excess nutrients into local waterways. PA American Water says these nutrients can lead to excessive algae growth, kill fish and cause other water-related issues.

“If residents see a storm drain in their neighborhood blocked by leaves or debris, it can be easily cleared with a rake or shovel, provided that it can be done safely,” said Joe Woodward, senior director of operations, Pennsylvania American Water.

Leaves, litter and other debris can enter sewer systems and eventually make their way into wastewater treatment plants.

PA American Water recommends:

  • Never rake or blow leaves into streets, ditches or storm drains
  • If leaves are being collected, only place leaves and yard debris at the curbside on your designated collection day
  • Mow over leaves to create a finely chopped mulch
  • Put fallen leaves and other organic debris into a compost bin

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