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Piles of leaves clogging up Tulsa storm drains

Posted at 5:56 PM, Nov 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-22 19:53:12-05

TULSA, Okla. — Leaves blown across streets are bad for traction, and also clog up storm drains. That can cause flooding, and is bad for the downstream environment.

Dustin Jaggers works with Tulsa's stormwater quality department. He says when we get heavy rainfall, and people's leaves are blown out on the streets, the water doesn't go down the drain. That's either from blockage at the surface, or a clog that doesn't allow the water to drain away, so it comes back up into the street.

It's also bad for the downstream environment when all those leaves remain sitting in the water.

"It's adding nutrients to the stream, which in a small amount is a good thing, but the amount of leaves we're sending to the creeks is an overabundance and it's harmful for the wildlife there," Jaggers said.

Jaggers says simply bagging your leaves is the easiest solution. If you are caught deliberately flushing leaves down the drain, you will get a warning from the city. Repeat offenders can be fined $250.

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