Streets, roads, highways and parking lots accumulate significant amounts of pollutants that contribute to stormwater pollutant runoff to surface waters. Pollutants can be minimized by street sweeping, including:
- Road salt
- Trace metals
Street sweeping can also improve the aesthetics of municipal roadways, control dust and decrease the accumulation of pollutants in catch basins. In the City of Owatonna, streets are swept at least twice a year, once in the spring, usually in April or May, and once in the fall, usually in November during the fall leaf cleanup. Sweeping occurs because it is imperative that the storm drains remain clear and unplugged.
- Boulevard sand can be raked into the gutter only during the Spring Sweeping. Residents should not rake the sanding materials more than 72 hours before the scheduled sweeping.
- Brush, limbs, or twigs will not be allowed!
- The crews work in designated areas of the city and then move to the core area.
- If debris is raked too early into the gutters before the scheduled sweepings, rain events can wash all the debris into the storm sewers causing pollution to our river and creeks
- To assist the crews in completing this project please have your vehicles removed from the street by 6 a.m. on the day your street is scheduled to be swept. If the sweepers have to maneuver around parked cars we will not come back later to sweep the areas that were blocked.
- Yard clippings should never be raked or blown into the gutter.
In an effort to keep the drains from plugging with the sand that is put down during the winter months and to assist property owners in the disposal of these materials the City sweeps the streets in the Spring. Property owners may rake or broom sanding materials to the curb gutter or street's edge of any hard surfaced street.
The fall sweeping is intended to remove leaves that fall onto the streets, not leaves raked into the streets by homeowners. Please do not rake, pile, or blow debris, leaves, or tree branches into the street or the storm drain. Place leaves and yard trimmings in your green waste containers. This will prevent leaves and debris from clogging storm drains, which can lead to flooding.
Raking leaves into the gutter is an illegal disposal and a violation of the Stormwater Management ordinance. Per the ordinance:
"No person shall intentionally dispose of leaves, dirt, or other landscape debris into a street, road, alley, catch basin, culvert, curb, gutter, inlet, ditch, natural watercourse, flood control channel, canal, storm drain or any fabricated natural conveyance"