The Town of Lady Lake Public Works staff has noticed an increase of grass and debris in storm drains throughout the Town. The main culprit is lawn clippings and leaves from the surrounding properties being deposited by people raking or blowing this debris into the street instead of bagging or disposing of them properly. Town staff is asking for your help to raise awareness of the residents and lawn care services to the impacts of this seemingly harmless act.
Did you know that it is illegal to put anything into storm drains other than rainwater? It’s called an Illicit Discharge. What exactly is an Illicit Discharge anyway?
Anything that enters the stormwater drainage system besides rainwater is considered an illicit discharge and is a violation of the Town of Lady Lake’s Illicit Discharge Ordinance Number 2008-26. The purpose of the Town of Lady Lake’s Illicit Discharge Ordinance is to protect public health, safety, and welfare by controlling pollution in our waterways. Grass clippings, leaves, or any other debris can clog up the storm drains which can cause flooding of the roadways and potential damage to the surrounding properties.
Damage caused by illicit discharges cost taxpayers money to repair! You CAN make a difference! Town of Lady Lake Public Works staff regularly cleans storm drains throughout the Town to ensure the stormwater system is free of debris and can properly convey rainwater after rain events, however, all it takes is one person to blow their grass clippings and leaves into the street to clog up the system and create a potential flooding hazard.
If you see a lawn service contractor or resident putting any type of debris into the streets or storm drains REPORT it immediately to: Town of Lady Lake Public Works Department at (352) 751-1526 or Lady Lake Code Enforcement at (352) 751-1562.
Help us and help yourselves by implementing these best management practices:
1. Grass Clippings & Leaves: DO NOT blow or rake grass clippings and leaves into the street or down the storm drain. Blow or rake the clippings and leaves back onto the lawn or into a bed as free mulch and fertilizer. Bag up any excess lawn debris.
2. Fertilize Wisely: Minimize use of fertilizers. Use a slow release with a low or 0 middle number (phosphorus). DO NOT fertilize when a large rain event is expected and NEVER within 15 feet of the water’s edge.
3. Good Housekeeping: Don’t leave excess fertilizer in the street or driveway. Sweep it up or blow it back onto the yard.
4. Save the Swales/Drainage Ditches: Keep grass swales mowed and clear of blockages. Keep drainage ditches clear of debris. NEVER fill in a swale or drainage ditch.
5. Storm Drains: Keep drains free of debris and vegetation. NEVER put chemicals, lawn clippings, soil or other debris down the storm drain. REMEMBER – ONLY RAIN DOWN THE STORM DRAIN!
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact C.T. Eagle, Director of Public Works at 352-751-1526 or email at [email protected].