The falling of leaves from many trees is an inevitable part of the fall season. But this annual event can bring quite a negative impact on our drainage facilities. As winter weather sets in about the same time, plenty of rainfall is headed our way. And just like keeping the gutters clean on your house can help avoid a problem, so it works for gutters and ditches alongside the roadways.
For many places in our diverse county, leaves along the side of the roadway and in the ditch are not an issue at all. Large culverts keep flowing well and are not impacted by the effects of some leaves coming down the ditch with the water. But in other areas, especially where curbs and stormdrain inlets handle the water, leaves can clog up the drainage features and cause quite a difficulty which sometimes can include flooding and even damage to property or our infrastructure.
To help keep things working as they should, property owners should not put leaves in the road right-of-way as a place to get rid of them. For example, blowing leaves into a drainage ditch or raking leaves out of your yard and into the street cause problems. Although this may seem like the simple solution to getting leaves off your property, plugged culverts and storm drains can cause many problems later. Instead, leaves should be bagged and disposed of at a green waste recycling center or by using another appropriate method.
Lastly, since we are on the topic of drainage, if you live along a county road and notice a culvert or drain plugged up (for any reason), please contact us. We want to keep the water flowing as designed!