Help needed to keep storm drains clear

Wind, rain could clog drains with unraked leaves, cause flooding

October 17, 2017 - by Amy Cloud, Communications and Outreach

With high wind and several inches of rain underway and forecast this week, leaves are likely to accumulate and clog City waterways.  As both common courtesy and in compliance with city code, Bellingham residents need to keep their sidewalks clear of leaves and make sure leaves and yard debris do not enter ditches or storm drains.

When leaves accumulate on the street, it is challenging for City street sweepers and can clog storm drains, causing flooding and impacting water quality. Here's how citizens can help:

  • Avoid sweeping or blowing leaves into ditches and streets;
  • Clear leaves from storm drains, if you can do so safely;
  • Rake what you can reach (do not go into the street);
  • Put leaves into your Sanitary Service FoodPlus container, or bag them for disposal; and
  • If you compost leaves, make sure the compost is not placed where it can leach into the City's stormwater system or nearby wetlands or streams.

If there is clog drained that is difficult to clear, please contact Public Works – Operations at (360) 778-7900.  For more information, visit the City's webpage on leaves and grass in storm drains or contact

Media Contact

​Mike Olinger, superintendent
City of Bellingham - Public Works
(360) 778-7900

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