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Bloomington Briefing

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Only rain down the drain

Authored on
Bloomington Briefing Published October 6, 2021
Updated on October 6, 2021
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Fall is an important time for protecting storm drains. Blowing or raking leaves and yard clippings into the street can clog storm drains and cause flooding. And yard waste in storm drains pollutes lakes and rivers. 

Leaves, grass clippings and debris that build up along curbs and storm drains contain phosphorus and nitrogen. In the water, they decompose and release these nutrients into the water. Too much phosphorus in lakes and rivers reduces oxygen and can cause algae and bacterial blooms the
following summer. 

“If every resident made sure to remove leaves from the street, there would be a huge combined impact on water quality,” said Jack Distel, Bloomington’s water
resources specialist. 

  • To protect water quality:
  • Take used oil, unwanted chemicals and other household hazardous wastes to South Hennepin Recycling and Problem Waste Drop-off Center or another drop-off site specializing in such waste.
  • Sweep your garage and place debris in trash, instead of hosing
  • it down.
  • De-chlorinate your pool water before draining. Chlorine is not good for wildlife.

Residents are encouraged to collect and bag leaves and yard trimmings for pickup on their assigned trash and recycling service day. Another option is to compost yard waste on site. Composting can be done using managed compost piles or you can mulch leaves into grass using a mower. 

Questions about yard waste? Contact the Public Works Department at 952-563-8726 or visit