Help needed to keep storm drains from clogging, causing flooding

Fallen leaves can create drainage problems

October 23, 2018 - by Amy Cloud, Communications and Outreach

With rain forecast this week, leaves that have been falling this Autumn are likely to accumulate and clog City drains and waterways.  As common courtesy and to ensure 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 block storm drains.

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

  • Do not sweep or blow your 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

Scott Brown-Davis, supervisor
Public Works - stormwater division
(360) 778-7900 

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