Monthly Educational Topic
When it rains, water washes over roofs, streets, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and land surfaces. Along the way, it can pick up a variety of pollutants, such as oil, pesticides, metals, chemicals, and soil. This polluted stormwater drains into the storm system that eventually discharges into our creek and rivers. The pollutants can endanger the water quality of our waterways, making them unhealthy for people, fish, and wildlife. No matter where you live, there's a drainage system in place to help rainwater find its way to the river.
Given the MHCSD's limited budget and staff, MHCSD relies heavily on citizen involvement to help keep streets safe and storm drains clean and to notify MHCSD if a higher level of maintenance is needed at a particular location.
How you can help keep storm drains clean
To lessen street flooding, the MHCSD asks residents and property managers to help clean the inlets and storm drains in front of your properties. Use a rake or pitch fork to clear leaves, limbs, and debris from the storm drain. Do not put your feet and hands into the storm drain because all kinds of debris collect there that could be dangerous. Do not try to remove the grate, only the debris on top of the grate.
The best time to inspect the storm drains in front of your house or business is prior to a rain event and right after a rain. If you cannot clear a clogged storm drain yourself, notify the MHCSD that help is needed. Call 209-831-2300 and report the particular location.
Please do not rake or blow the leaves from your yard into the street. Bag them at the curb in the parking strip and prepare them for curbside pickup by your garbage hauler.
For leaves that have fallen into the street, please keep them out of the channel right along the curb, where they will block the path of rainwater. Rake them at least one foot from the curb.
How to prevent neighborhood drainage problems
Water is the most common cause of unstable slopes and erosion. Check your home's drainage system. Maintaining the drainage system on private property is the owner's responsibility. Make sure your drainage system directs water away from your foundation and not on to your neighbor's property.
Clean your gutters and downspouts. Check your gutters once a week during fall and winter. Just one wind or rainstorm can clog a well-flowing drainage system.
Never block any part of the MHCSD's drainage system. Do not put leaves, dirt, grass clippings, or any materials in ditches, culverts, or drains. Doing so can cause flooding.
It is against the law to dump any material into the drainage system. To report illegal dumping, call 209-831-2300.