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Fallen leaves, heavy rain make a mess for public works employees to clean up

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MILWAUKEE -- The rain just kept coming for most of southeast Wisconsin on Wednesday, October 26th. And in late October, the rain wasn't the only "falling concern."

"I've seen so many of our village workers work so hard. They were out very early in the morning," said Kelly Wood who lives in Whitefish Bay.

Leaves block sewer gratesOn Wednesday afternoon, Whitefish Bay Public Works employees were still out clearing sewer grates throughout the village.

"Fallen leaves, as well as leaf collection, can cause problems with storm sewer drainage," said John Edlebeck, Whitefish Bay director of Public Works.

Between the leaves and rain, Edlebeck said it was something of an imperfect storm.

Leaves block sewer grates

Leaves block sewer grates

"This time of year, there's a, probably a six-week window that any rain-intense event can cause problems," Edlebeck said.

It's a necessary process, but having homeowners rake their leaves into the gutters certainly did not help matters.

Leaves block sewer grates"Obviously, one of the concerns is drainage. But we've addressed that with additional employees," Edlebeck said.

Edlebeck said three employees spent the day monitoring and clearing sewer grates throughout the village. They just started collecting leaves last week.

While residents are welcome to clear the sewer grates themselves, it is not necessary. Officials say you can call your municipality's Department of Public Works and request they clear the leaves.

1 Comment

  • Bob

    How about the homeowners just “mow” the leaves up? It may take several more passes BUT it does help fertilize their lawns and eliminate the “PILE” of leaves that the community ordinances have to deal with. I used to rake the leaves, bag them and then cut my lawn. I switiched my mower to “mulcher” blades ( without bagging…….-bagging can work for compost or tree bush borders but will take alot of time as they fill up fast) and within a extra two or three passes they are cut up and put back in the lawn. I heard this tip from a family member and started it four years ago and my lawn has shown tremendous improvement along with my normal duties that I do yearly (aerating, fertilizing etc). BUT by doing only this – it will enrichen the lawn. Think about it; instead of raking and pulling down to the curb or bagging, just put new blades on and cut a couple extra times in the fall-Your lawn will prosper!!! Trust me I hate the leaves and most of all I get or from the neighborhood thanks to the wind but since I’ve done this-I have noticed an improvement year after year.
    My too sents

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