Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Grass Clippings in Roads

It's only a little grass in the street, what harm could that cause?  As it starts out, not much, but add tens and hundreds of areas and it quickly becomes a major issue.  Grass in the curb will block the stormwater from getting to the catch basin.  The drainage at the blocked area will push the water out into the travel lanes of the street and potentially cause accumulation and cause a motorist to lose control of the vehicle.

Once the grass gets wet, it tends to stick together and start to decompose.  It is almost like creating compost in the street.  This problem perpetuates the previous, as more and more grass gets caught up in the blockage with each mowing.


Storm sewer systems are engineered to reduce flooding in the street and private property.  When the catch basins become blocked with grass, the capacity is taken away from accepting water.  Accumulation occurs around the catch basin, which can lead to localized flooding and possibly property damage.

The stormwater travels through a series of progressively larger pipes until it outlets into a ditch, stream, river, or pond.  It does not take much for a twig or small tree branch to enter the catch basin and attempt to travel down stream.  Sometimes stones or other material get caught in the pipes which act as a dam and additional debris catcher for grass.  The grass begins to compost, and release pollutants like phosphorus or nitrogen into the stormwater every time it rains. The fertilizer and composition of grass will impact the ecosystem where the stormwater releases into a waterway.

When hazardous weather approaches, it there is not enough time for our staff to make sure every catch basin is cleared off and all debris (grass/leaves) are cleared out of the curb to prevent potential flooding.  That is why we need your help to make sure the systems operate efficiently by not mowing grass into the curb.  Please take the time to sweep or blow the street grass back onto the lawn.  If you have catch basins in your neighborhood, take the time to make sure it is cleared off before rainfalls come.

The Village has ordinances prohibiting discharging grass into the street.  Please help to protect the environment and your community from the damage that grass clippings can inflict!