Street Sweeping & Stormwater

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Street sweeping is an important pollution prevention function provided in our communities. It is required under State and Federal regulations related to the Clean Water Act. State stormwater regulations also require street sweeping as a component of our agency’s wastewater service programs in Antioch, Bay Point, and Pittsburg.

One of the best ways to prevent pollutants from entering our local waterways is to remove them from streets before wind, rain, and water carry them into the storm drain. Anything on the streets, sidewalks, parking lots, or driveway can wash into storm drains and is carried directly to local waterways and the Delta without treatment.

Street sweeping is particularly important during the winter months when we often experience our most heavy rainfall, which can result in debris blocking storm water facilities and causing local flooding. Equally important, but often less visible, is the safe removal of hazardous waste, such as metal particles, engine fluids, and motor oils, which are left by our vehicles every day and extremely harmful to our drinking water, fish, and wildlife in our local waterways.

Moving cars on your designated street sweeping day is an important way you can help reduce pollution from our waterways and storm drain system.  Do you know which days the street sweeper cleans your street?  To find out which day of the month your street is swept, please check these maps and spreadsheets.

    

Street SweeperThe grated openings you see in gutters collect rainwater and carry the water to storm drains to minimize street flooding. Anything on the streets, sidewalks, parking lots, or driveways eventually washes into the storm drains and is carried directly to the river and Delta without treatment.

Rainwater often carries street debris - trash, leaves, cigarette butts, grass clippings, pet wastes, vehicle fuels - into storm drains. Also pesticides, paints, antifreeze, and used motor oil can end up in our river when people dispose of them improperly. Remember, not only do we get our drinking water from the river, but we also use our rivers and the Delta as a recreation area and a valuable natural habitat.

One of the ways to prevent pollutants from entering our creeks, river, and the bay is to remove them from streets before rain carries them into the storm drain and the watershed. Street sweeping also helps our cities comply with State and Federal regulations related to the Clean Water Act. Residents can count on the street sweeper cleaning their streets on the same day each month. This provides a clean appearance throughout neighborhoods, which is important for the community. Street sweeping in the downtown, industrial, and other commercial areas provides a pleasant appearance, which helps attract shoppers, new business, and retains current business.

One of the biggest barriers to an effective street sweeping program is parked cars blocking the path of street sweepers. To assure that street sweeping is effective, it is important to remember to remove parked vehicles from the street during scheduled street sweeping days, and encourage neighbors to remove their vehicles on sweeping days as well.

You can help keep city streets clean and reduce pollutants that enter our waterways by following product label instructions and by using products that are safe for the environment. Garden chemicals that are not applied correctly, paint products, and motor oil disposed of improperly, fluids leaking from your vehicle, detergent residue from rinsing your car, leaves and lawn clippings left on the sidewalks or near the gutter all have the potential to pollute our creeks and river if they are washed into the gutter and down storm drains. Household hazardous waste can be disposed of safely at the Delta Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

With your help, our local streets can be kept clean and attractive for all to enjoy. Working together, we're the solution to pollution!

The organization Keep America Beautiful offers these suggestions to individuals to take personal responsibility for their community environment:

What Can YOU Do?

Littering is an individual behavioral problem or a business problem that can become a problem for your community. Changing a societal norm like littering begins with each of us. Each person must accept responsibility for their actions and influence the actions of others around them in their business, home, school, and community. By modeling proper trash and waste disposal, you will cause others to consider their actions, too.

Every Person
  • Set an example for others, especially co-workers, friends, and children by using receptacles and NOT littering.
  • Carry a litterbag and portable ashtray in your car.
  • If you are a smoker, carry and use a portable or pocket ashtray.
Families
  • Make sure your trashcans have lids that can be securely fastened or use bungee cords to hold them in place.
  • Secure all bags and use twine to secure loose trash for curbside trash collection.
  • Tie paper into bundles before placing into curbside recycling bins
  • Keep landscaping plants and branches pruned back far enough to allow sweepers access
  • Clear any obstructions on the road in front of your property such as basketball hoops, weeds, ramps, and wood planks used for accessing your driveway 
  • Do not pile debris, such as large amounts of leaves, into the street for sweepers 
  • During wet season, when safe, use a rake to keep the storm water drain grates on your street clear of debris.

Government Leaders

  • Identify Transition Points in your community, place ash and trash receptacles at these points, and commit to proper maintenance of the receptacles.
  • Encourage building owners and business managers to place ash receptacles at points where their employees and/or customers smoke outdoors.
  • Distribute portable or pocket ashtrays and litterbags throughout your community to educate your citizens about individual responsibility for proper waste disposal.
  • Coordinate "adopt-a-spot" programs with local community organizations, youth groups, and school groups to augment the regular maintenance of public places by your employees.
Business Owners
  • Assure easy access to dumpsters by employees and contracts. Check dumpsters daily to see that top and side doors are closed. This prevents scavengers from spreading trash around the ground.
  • Cover all open loads on trucks leaving your business. Encourage vendors and contractors to do the same!
  • Provide ash and trash receptacles at entrances, exits, loading docks, picnic areas, as well as in packing lots and along walkways of your business. Remember, these should be placed where the people are!
  • Educate your employees about the importance of individual responsibility for a clean and safe working environment.
Community Leaders
  • Encourage groups to "adopt a spot" in your town or neighborhood and encourage maintenance on a regular basis.
  • Utilize information from Keep America Beautiful to initiate education programs addressing sustainable community improvement through litter prevention, beautification, and waste reduction.
Event Organizers
  • Make your festival, fair, or any outdoor community events "waste wise/litter free" by involving all participants in the planning.
  • Give out litterbags and portable or pocket ashtrays at the entrances and make sure everyone knows that your event is a "waste wise/litter free" event.
  • Place large trash receptacles and recycling receptacles near food venues and eating areas. Remember, large event, large number of attendees equal large, well-marked receptacles. If you place event volunteers nearby to help attendees find the receptacles as they need them, you will reduce clean-up while educating people about proper waste/recycling disposal.
Marina Operators
  • Pass out litterbags and portable or pocket ashtrays to boaters and their guests.
  • Provide ash, trash, recycling, and bulk waste receptacles dockside for your customers.
  • Install fishing line collection receptacles with signage to college broken and used line -- keep fishing line out of the water!
  • Offer litterbags, ash receptacles, and trash containers in your supply store.
Smokers
  • As soon as you light up, identify where you will dispose of your cigarette waste when you finish smoking. Use ash and ash/trash receptacles.
  • Carry a pocket ashtray all the time, or have a portable ashtray with you as you leave your home, office, or car.
  • Encourage fellow smokers to be responsible for their cigarette litter, too.
Pet Owners
  • Pick-up after your dog as you walk through your neighborhood. Use newspaper delivery bags, 'pooper scoopers', or other easy to use methods to clean-up after your pet.  Keeping your pet on a leash assures that it doesn't foul neighbors' yards or public spaces in your neighborhood.
  • Be responsible for your pet and its actions.

 

 

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