City urges residents to not mow grass clippings into streets

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The city of Albert Lea is urging residents to use caution and take a little extra time to clean up properly after mowing lawns to protect water quality in Albert Lea lakes.

When residents mow their yards, the city asks to not mow the grass clippings onto the street or into the gutter. Mowing into the street is a violation of city ordinances.

Grass clippings in the street are being washed down the storm sewers and end up in area lakes where they have the potential to cause algae blooms, which cause the lakes to turn a pea-green color. Algae blooms reduce water clarity and create a scum layer on top. Algae blooms can deplete the oxygen in the lake.

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The city says it is reportedly being far more aggressive this year in issuing warnings and citations to violators.

“It is important that residents not mow onto the street so you can enjoy your lake,” said Andy Henschel, director of field operations at Shell Rock River Watershed District.

Another project is in place to help protect area lakes. The “Leave it on the Lawn” campaign has been going on for approximately 10 years to encourage environmental-friendly practices to keep area lakes clean. The campaign has left signs on grates to encourage environmental-friendly practices. Advertisements have also been placed in newspapers and radio.

Posted July 29, the city’s Facebook post reportedly reached 1,861 views by Monday.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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