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Keep grass clippings off streets, out of waterways

Published On: May 10 2013 03:27:54 PM CDT

The City of Onalaska wants to remind its residents to keep grass clippings off streets and out of waterways.

City planning and zoning inspector Katie Meyer says grass clippings can clog storm drains and pipes, causing backups in the storm sewer system.

Grass clippings in the street also adds more costs for maintenance and additional street sweeping which means additional fuel and equipment time that affects the Onalaska Public Works budget, Meyer said.

"Grass clippings also contain nitrogen and phosphorus which add excess nutrients to water bodies and can cause algal blooms," Myer said in a statement. "Grass clippings also deplete water of oxygen as they decompose, reducing the amount of oxygen available to fish and other aquatic life."

The city offers the following suggestions to help keep grass clippings out of waterways:
• Use the clippings as a free source of mulch;
• Add clippings to your compost pile to speed up microbial action; or
• Place clippings in approved yard waste bags and put them out for collection