MISHAWAKA, Ind. – City crews spanned out across Mishawaka on Monday to clean off drains along West Lawrence Street. The sewer department does this all year long to maintain the flow of both inlets and catch basins, but the work load increase during the fall.
In fact the majority of the ten person crew is sent out on the task during the months the leaves are falling.
“When the leaves are falling we have at least about six guys out doing this,” said Justin Leslie.
The department said just by raking or shoveling off the leaves, you can prevent water from pooling on your streets, sidewalks, and near your home.
"It reduces the chance of it getting clogged up when we get heavy rain by quite a bit,” said Leslie.
Two person crews are sent out to cover a couple square-miles in a day. “Go up and down the street to each corner clearing them off with a shovel, basically putting them in the back of a truck, truck gets full, we take it to our waste dump,” said Leslie.
There are two different types of drains the crew is clearing.
“An inlet is just a simple straight pipe underneath the grate that shoots in and those we just clean the top off, but if we run into a catch basin that's full, usually they're a couple feet deep with pipes at the bottom, so we may have to spend some time cleaning those out with shovels or by hand,” said Leslie.
For the really tough jobs, they pull out the vacuum truck. It can hold 15 yards of debris and 1,200 gallons of water.
"Vacuum system will then pull any debris out of this catch basin which in turn allows waste water to flow into the main system,” said Gary Isle.
With the seasons getting ready to change and the majority of the leaves already gone from the trees, the crew’s focus starts to shift to other sewer maintenance, but they always keep their eyes on the drains.
"We do, do it all year around, but it is just more of a focus in the fall. When I say wrap it up, we'll still have guys driving around one or twice a week making sure everything is ok,” said Leslie.