Don’t leave the leaves

Don’t leave the leaves
Posted on 10/04/2022

There’s something lurking in our storm drains, streets and gutters that doesn’t belong

It’s fall leaves – a seemingly benign seasonal sight with some serious impacts.

  • Leaves clog up storm drains, which keeps water from draining off the streets during and after rain. Driving in these pools can cause a vehicle to hydroplane and drench nearby pedestrians.
  • Leaves stashed in a dark secluded area like a drain are an attractive breeding ground for rodents and insects.
  • Yard waste like leaves in storm drains is a major source of pollution in urban areas. Once they’ve washed into a stream, they can be harmful to fish and wildlife by depriving the water of oxygen and food sources.
  • Wet leaves in the street create a slippery driving surface, especially for motorcycles and bikes. Transportation agencies describe their effect as being similar to black ice.
  • Clogged gutters can result in costly home repairs, including wood rot and foundation woes. Clean yours out regularly, research gutter covering products or contact a reliable gutter cleaning service.

How you can help

  • Sweeping or blowing your leaves into a storm drain or stream is a violation of City Code. Bag up your leaves, mow them into the grass or try composting.
  • Don’t sweep your leaves along the curb and leave them there. The City of Lenexa doesn’t offer curbside leaf collection. The leaves are likely to end up in the street or storm drain.
  • If you see someone sweeping or blowing leaves (or anything else) into a drain or stream, call Municipal Services at 913.477.7880.

Published October 4, 2022