Keeping Your Drains Clear of Falling Leaves
Falling leaves combined with heavy rains can quickly clog drains and spur local flooding. Did you know that leaf debris can be added to municipal yard waste bins? In general, leaves should not be swept or blown into streets because they can clog municipal storm drains and lead to localised flooding, which can be lengthy and expensive to remedy.
Leaves are not the only guilty party, as tree roots and other garden matter can also contribute to blocked drains, and can even crack pipes if left untreated.
In order to avoid blocked drains, both inside and outside, consider the following:
- Regularly clear leaves from pathways, gutters and gullies.
- Do not blow leaves into drains. Bag them for pick, compost them, or dispose of them at an appropriate dump site. You can also use them for mulch in your garden!
- Avoid putting grease, oil or fat down your drains. Washing oily substances down the drain when cooking and cleaning promotes residue that sticks to the inside of pipes causing build up that can eventually clog a drain. Dumping used car oil in the stormdrain is not only environmentally detrimental, but it shortens the life-span of the drains.
- Objects like sanitary items, baby wipes, hair build-up, and cotton balls can stay lodged in drains causing blockages and should be disposed of in bins.
A little hard work in the short term could save you a lot of aggravation in the long term. Preventative measures go a long ways toward forestalling drain problems. Remember, whether you pour things down your internal or external drains, all waste travels through a drain before it either end up in a wastewater treatment facility or discharged into surface waters. Some waste, particularly leaves, blocks drains, and prevents them from being able to perform their function of transporting water away.