It's a familiar site every summer. Someone is mowing a lawn and blowing the grass clippings into the street and storm drains.
Here are five reasons why blowing grass and leaves into the street is not a good idea:
- It creates a roadway hazard
- Lawn debris clogs storm drains
- If storm drains are clogged, the water has nowhere to go and can back up into streets and basements
- It hurts aquatic life
- It's illegal
When you are using a side discharge mower, it is just something that you naturally do. If you must discharge grass into the road, there are two options. Make another pass along the edge of the road and blow it back into the lawn, or use a leaf blower to vacuum the grass from the street. DO NOT "clean the street" by blowing the grass into the storm drain. If the storm drain is full of grass, the water has nowhere to go and can back up onto the streets and into basements. Side discharge is risky from a liability standpoint. Any rock or piece of debris along the side of the road can get caught in the mower blade and could be launched damaging an adjacent window, moving car, etc.
Though a seemingly harmless act, residents are reminded that it is illegal to mow or place grass, leaves, and other yard waste into the public streets, gutters and storm drains. Clippings can clog storm sewer intakes and also add debris to the waterways flowing through the city.
Although the act of using a leaf blower isn’t a violation, the act of blowing or leaving yard trimmings and similar material into the street is a violation. The City considers these acts to be a Municipal Code Violation; therefore code enforcement and police officers can issue citations to mowing contractors, lawn maintenance companies, and homeowners who fail to properly collect and dispose of this material.
Fines up to $750 can be imposed on people found responsible for blowing grass clippings into the street.
Blowing grass clippings onto the road is dangerous to drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, harms local storm sewers and aquatic life. A.B.A.T.E of Iowa, a motorcyclists' rights group, asks homeowners mowing their lawns to blow grass clippings away from the road.
The City of Bondurant can also be cited by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), if the DNR determines that the City is not taking appropriate action to prevent debris, such as grass clippings, from running into City storm sewers.
Your cooperation in keeping our streets and waterways clean is appreciated and good for the environment.
It is a collective effort by both property owners and the City to keep our sewers running properly.