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Frequently Asked Questions
The Stormwater Maintenance program is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the City’s 187 miles of storm sewer mains, ditches, storm manholes, catch basins, and all other drainage structures to help eliminate flooding of streets and homes, and to ensure that all Federal, State, County and City stormwater runoff requirements are met. This program supports the installation of new storm pipes, new catch basins, manholes and other required structures. It is responsible for ditch maintenance and improvements, and for providing an annual cleaning cycle for the City’s drainage ditch system. It provides sweeping of main arteries, beach and downtown commercial streets and parking lots. This program also provides for maintenance and repair of City owned retention ponds.
This Web site explains the services we offer, and provides you with resources if the stormwater infrastructure in your neighborhood watershed is in need of maintenance or repair.
Residential areas are routinely swept twice each year. However, neighborhoods with heavy tree canopies or deteriorating curbs that can easily collect soil and debris may require more frequent sweeping. Commercial areas, including the beach and downtown are swept weekly.
When your street is scheduled for sweeping, you can help us out by placing your garbage cans on the property line at your driveway's apron and not in the streets. If garbage cans are left in the streets, our street sweeping equipment cannot clear debris from alongside the roads. To learn more, read Article VII of the City's Solid Waste Management guidelines to learn how to situate your solid waste barrels on your designated trash collection day.
If you'd like to find out about street sweeping schedules in your area, contact Engineering Department.
Drainpipes and Inlets...
While drainpipes are underground and out of sight, they too, need maintenance. As drainpipes age, tree roots can grow through seams in the pipes, and sediments, algae and other plants can build up on the sides. Trash and debris can also wash into the pipes, eventually causing blockages. Sophisticated equipment is used to identify blockages and locations that require repair in underground pipes, and crews may be called to replace damaged sections.
Many drains outfall to the bay, so it is important to prevent objects other than stormwater from washing into drainage openings. The Environmental Protection Agency has mandated that trash and harmful substances be prohibited from entering the bay through drainage sources. Stormwater Maintenance teams have begun a stenciling campaign to mark street drains that go directly to the bay, warning pedestrians not to dispose of any object on the street that could enter the drainage system. Lawn service providers must make sure they are not blowing clippings into the street, toward catch basins, or down storm drains. Substances such as detergents, motor oil, or grass clippings that may contain pesticides can harm our water resources and should never be washed into these drains. Make sure to place trash in the proper receptacles, and dispose of yard wastes and other refuse properly.
The city encourages the reporting of malicious illicit discharge. If you see someone improperly disposing of dangerous materials, call Pinellas County at (727) 464-4425 or the Stormwater Watch Line at (727) 464-5060. You can also notify Engineering Department.
Ponds and Lakes...
City teams regularly inspect ponds and lakes throughout the city. Some are city owned and some have drainage easements over them. Maintenance of these bodies of water includes removal of soil, plant overgrowth, and nuisance plant species. Occasional explosive growth of native plants or exotic species can restrict water flow, requiring corrective maintenance. Within the city limits, several ponds and lakes are under maintenance contracts with private firms to remove or spray for invasive plant growth.
For information about ponds and lakes in your area, call (727) 562-4950 x7207.
Depressions and Sinkholes...
Soil adjacent to buried utility lines can occasionally shift or become compacted, causing depressions in the roadway or surrounding ground, which can be mistaken for a developing sinkhole. Any such depression should be reported to the Public Utilities Department. An inspector will determine the cause and a course of action. However, if a similar depression appears on private property, buried utility lines are not present, and a sinkhole is suspected, the property owner is encouraged to notify his or her insurance company.
Additional information about sinkholes can be obtained from the Southwest Florida Water Management District at 1-800-423-1476.
Questions, concerns, or pleased with the job we are doing? Please let us know. Call the Stormwater Maintenance Manager at (727) 562-4950 x7272.
Together we can make our Neighborhood Watersheds clean and green, ensuring that Clearwater stays the best place to live, work, and play.