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Leaves in the gutter make county streams shudder!

It’s that time of year when leaves are falling fast. In trying to remove leaves from your yard, you may be tempted to rake, blow, or throw them into the street, a storm drain, or a drainage ditch. Problems arise when these leaves block the drain or are washed into nearby waterways, causing localized flooding and negative impacts on the health of our streams, rivers, and lakes.

The leaves decompose in the water, reducing the level of oxygen available to aquatic organisms. These little bugs and fish play an important role in the natural filtration process of surface water, which is the source of our drinking water. 

Please don't blow or dump your leaves into the street, storm drains, or drainage ditches. You can compost leaves or contact your trash hauler to make arrangements to have them picked up. Visit,, or contact the Gwinnett County Cooperative Extension Service at 678.377.4010 for more information.

Composting helps our rivers and streams
Composting is the earth's way of naturally recycling old plant material. When mixed with soil, compost improves soil structure, adds minerals and nutrients, and improves the soil's ability to retain moisture. Did you know that it also can help to prevent stormwater pollution? When fallen leaves are left on the ground, they enter storm drains and end up in our waterways polluting our rivers and streams.

Visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's website  or for more information about the benefits of composting.