Why is street sweeping important?

Streets, roads, highways and parking lots accumulate significant amounts of pollutants that contribute to stormwater pollutant runoff to surface waters. Pollutants can be minimized by street sweeping.  These pollutants include: 

  • Debris
  • Road salt
  • Sediment
  • Trace metals
  • Trash

Street sweeping can also improve the aesthetics of municipal roadways, control dust and decrease the accumulation of pollutants in catch basins. In the City of Owatonna, streets are swept at least twice a year, once in the spring, usually in April or May, and once in the fall, usually in November during the fall leaf cleanup. Sweeping occurs because it is imperative that the storm drains remain clear and unplugged.

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1. Why is street sweeping important?