Don't Dump Debris
Keep yard debris away from stream banks and out of the stream.
Follow this simple rule and you can help:
- Prevent flood losses
- Prevent property damage
- Reduce stream bank erosion
- Protect stream health & water quality
Stream levels rise dramatically during storm events and snowmelt runoff, and any debris stored on the streambank can easily get washed downstream. Once grass clippings, tree branches, construction materials, and other yard waste get into the stream they can block culvert openings, snag on bridge crossings, or quickly clog in-stream trash grates. This can cause flooding, severe bank erosion, and property damage.
Trash grates help prevent the damage caused by debris in urban streams. Salt Lake County’s Flood Control crews check and clean them year-round. Approximately 70% of the debris removed from the grates is “man-made”, including pruned branches and cut tree trunks. Even more during spring when springtime yard cleanup is in full swing.
Debris piled on streambanks can also smother and kill the deep-rooted plants that help stabilize bank soils. This can accelerate bank erosion, leading to property damage and potential property loss. Too much organic matter in the stream (grass clippings, etc.) will deplete dissolved oxygen in the water as it decays. This can have serious impacts on fish and other aquatic life.
Bottom line, be a good stream steward and keep yard debris off the banks and out of the stream. This will go a long way toward protecting stream health and preventing flooding and property damage for you and your downstream neighbors.