Brisk autumn breezes and colorful leaves scattered about are sure signs of fall.
But with the changing seasons, also comes chilly, wet weather that can wash leaves and debris into the storm sewer, contributing to drainage problems. As a result, the Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) is asking residents and property owners to do their part and rake leaves away from the curb and regularly check and clear storm inlets of leaves and other debris.
“People don’t realize the importance of keeping their storm inlets clear and that property owners are actually required to do so,” said DPW Director David Sherman. “Every little bit helps and by clearing your inlet, you’re not only doing the right thing for your street and neighborhood, you’re doing the right thing for our city.”
Clogged storm inlets can lead to numerous problems. Leaves can block proper water flow into storm inlets resulting in drainage problems, flooded streets and dangerous driving conditions. In addition, standing water on streets can work its way into the sanitary and combined sewers, taking up needed capacity and contributing to raw sewage overflows and backups at homes and businesses. On rare occasions, too many leaves in the combined sewer system have also led to blockages at the city’s wastewater treatment plants.
There are more than 10,000 miles of drainage facilities in Marion County. Approximately 6,000 of those miles are on private property and must be maintained by property owners, according to Sections 431-506 and 561-211 of the Revised Code of the City and County. For these property owners, drainage responsibilities include clearing storm inlets.
DPW’s Annual Fall Leaf Collection Program
DPW will accept bagged leaves free of charge as part of regular trash service from November 9 through December 4. Residents may set out up to 40 bags for collection each week. No more than 10 items may be regular household trash. DPW requests that residents set out leaf bags and regular trash for collection by 7 a.m. on regular trash days, and clearly identify and separate leaves from trash.
For further information, call the Mayor’s Action Center at (317) 327-4622 or visit www.indy.gov/dpw.