Fall Leaf Clean Up
By: Whirlwind Clean & Green Team ~
Fallen leaves can cause many issues, especially when combined with rain, such as clogging storm drains, making roads and walkways slippery, and killing grass and other plants.
Keeping storm drains unclogged provides many benefits, including reduced flooding. Ridding the drains of leaves and other debris also alleviates pollution in local creeks since piles of leaves create poisonous gas when they build up in the underground catch basins. This gas causes oxygen levels to fluctuate to dangerously low levels in nearby creeks and streams where fish and other wildlife live. Unclogging your storm drain takes little time, but does require that you watch the drains, especially in autumn, to make sure they stay clean going into winter.
In the fall rain, leaves left on roads and walkways can become very slippery. This makes your parking lot and roads treacherous to drivers. Slippery walkways are also a trip and fall hazard to your customers. Gutters also need to be cleaned out regularly to ensure excess water on your roof drains away from the building properly.
If leaves are left on the lawn they block sunlight and reduces water evaporation, which can cause fungus, mold and disease. These things alone can wipe out a lawn in a year or two, even if it's cleaned up in the spring. Just like anything in life, a healthy lawn can take a hit and bounce back, but a stressed lawn can be sent over the edge with leaves being allowed to sit for a period of time. Letting leaves sit can leave you reseeding in the spring. Wet, decomposing leaves can also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Once leaves are cleaned up they can make a great mulch for your plant beds. Leaves can be ground up and then put into plant beds to give nutrients to your plants. The leaf mulch is also a great insulator to protect your plants from the winter cold. Leaf mulch also makes a great weed barrier, as it contains no weeds and suppresses weeds trying to grow.
Remember that there is much more debris on the roads during the fall and sweeper trucks can only handle so much debris at one time, so it is important to increase your sweeping schedule during the fall. Call Whirlwind for a free estimate on leaf cleanup today to keep storm drains, roads, and walkways clear, and keep your grass and other plants alive.
Protect local streams, the Puget Sound, Fish, and Orcas
By: Whirlwind Clean & Green Team ~
One of the EPA’s #1 recommended Best Management Practice is to sweep to reduce the amount of pollutants entering local rivers, lakes, and streams. Sweeping with Regenerative Air Vacuum Trucks is one of the best BMP’s for Stormwater as the air used to gather the material isn’t redistributed back into the air. Any trash, sediment, heavy metals, hydrocarbons, oil, rubber from tires, and grease are all pollutants reduced to help the environment. It is also 1/3 the cost of cleaning these pollutants out of these storm system devices with vactor trucks once it ends up in catch basins, vaults, swales, and ponds.
After sweeping pressure washing can get all the tough grease and oil spots that may be left to get a really deep clean on your parking lots and sidewalks. Pressure washing is especially important around all dumpsters and grease enclosures. When pressure washing water should be reclaimed and properly disposed of, as soaps, detergents, or any other chemical can’t go into the storm system. We also suggest placing landscape fabric over all storm grates to stop debris from washing into the drains, this will eliminate future maintenance costs of having your drains cleaned.
Cleaning out your storm drains before the influx of water we get with fall rain is very important as you get all the oil, dirt, and debris out of the drains before the water comes through and washes it into local waterways such as streams, rivers, and lakes. The best way to clean out storm drains is with a vactor truck. Another measure is to install catch-basin filters or to clean them if they are already installed. The filters sit in the lid of catch-basins and filter out key contaminants and pollutants from stormwater runoff.
Once oil, dirt, and debris get into local waterways they can harm the fish as well as other plants and animals in the waterways and near them. There have been studies on the effect of stormwater runoff on Coho salmon and it concluded that one or more substances in the runoff causes mortality. When fish populations are down other animals higher up in the food chain suffer as well. Orcas in particular are struggling throughout the world and the Puget Sound as they eat salmon, mainly chinook, which has a dwindling population. This makes the already endangered Orcas very stressed over food causing them to not have a successful birth in over 3 years. Toxins and vessel traffic are also believed to be responsible for the hardship of these whales as Orcas carry the highest levels of pollution of any marine animal.
Fish will be coming up the ladders soon and will be able to be seen jumping up the streams, we don't want to see them jumping through a film of oil though. Help protect our fragile environment in the Northwest. Call or email us today for a free estimate for sweeping, pressure washing, or our vactor services to keep contaminants out of your storm drains and local waterways.