Pittsburgh, PA - The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) reminds its customers to properly dispose of leaves and other yard debris this fall. The Authority is taking to social media to encourage residents to #LeafItOut to prevent flooding and protect the environment.
When leaves wash into the street, they begin to accumulate in storm drains, which causes flooding and backups. The breakdown of leaves in sewer systems can also contribute to excess algae growth in our rivers, which depletes oxygen levels in the water and damages the ecosystem. Reducing the amount of leaves in the street can also help to avoid hazardous driving conditions during wet weather events.
The PWSA recommends the following tips for keeping leaves out of Pittsburgh’s storm drains and waterways:
- Rake leaves and place them in the appropriate recycling bags, which are available at most home-improvement stores.
- Do not rake or blow leaves into the street.
- Consider using your leaves as mulch – mowing over leaves will create finely chopped debris in your yard.
- Never dump leaves or other yard debris into ditches, streams, or other waterways.
Neighborhood leaf collection schedules and drop-off locations for the City of Pittsburgh can be found here.
If you see a clogged or broken storm drain in your neighborhood, please report it to PWSA’s Emergency Dispatch 24 hours a day at 412-255-2423 or via Twitter at @pgh2o.
PWSA maintains approximately 25,000 storm drains throughout the City of Pittsburgh and cleans over 4,800 per year.