Storm water systems in Florence keep streets clean, environment healthy

Storm water systems in Florence keep streets clean, environment healthy

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – The City of Florence's storm water drains serve dual purposes – keeping the environment healthy and the streets aesthetically pleasing.

According to the Municipal Association of South Carolina, Florence residents combat clogged drains, which cause flooding, algae blooms and fish kills, by composting yard waste, leaving grass clippings on their lawns as a natural fertilizer or bagging yard waste to keep it from washing into a drain.

"The most important practice is preventive maintenance of the storm water collection system," said Michael Hemingway, utilities director for the City of Florence. "Once the rains begin to fall, it is way too late to fix a problem or even stem the tide of a developing issue."

Florence's stormwater maintenance work group cleans drains by street sweeping, weed eating and clearing debris and sediment manually from gutters and grates. Sweeping the streets reduces the sand and pollutants that enter the draining system causing blocked pipes and poor water quality in nearby waterways.

"It's important to keep storm drains clear and clean for multiple reasons," said Hemingway. "First, they cannot operate and perform as designed if they are clogged, broken or caved in. This could lead to flooding, which could cause property damage or vehicle accidents."

"While we want our stormwater collection system to be ready for storm events, we also want a clean city," Hemingway concluded. "Perception is reality, especially in the eyes of residents, visitors, prospective businesses and those looking to relocate."

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