ROCHESTER, Minn. – They may look beautiful while changing color on the trees but once they fall, leaves can get washed into storm sewers and cause problems.
Rochester Public Works is asking homeowners to take the extra step to pick leaves up off of the curb line so they don’t make their way through the storm sewer system and into area lakes and streams. Megan Moeller with Public Works says the leaves could plug up storm sewer systems, which could lead to localized flooding. She also says the leaves could cause algae blooms in lakes and streams come springtime.
“When we get these algae blooms, they look bad, they smell gross, they render areas unusable and they can potentially be toxic to people and pets. When the algae decomposes, it uses up all the oxygen which can then cause fish kills and other negative effects on aquatic wildlife,” Moeller explains.
She says a lot of people ask about street sweepers, and the city of Rochester does have a fleet that picks up leaves, debris and sediment from the street.
“But their goal is not to get all of the leaves that fall onto our yards so we ask that people do not push their leaves into the street in fact, that is against Rochester city ordinances.”
She says composting leaves into your yard works as a natural fertilizer, but if you’re unable to do that, you can always bring leaves to your local compost site.