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Saturday, August 12, 2017

New Orleans and Drainage

It's a SYSTEM. It doesn't work when too many parts are broken.
And lots of parts are broken, above and beyond the pumps and the turbines.
Catch Basins not kept clean by the people who live on the street.
Catch Basins not mucked out by the city.
The city paving such that very little space is left for water to get into the Catch Basins.
People consistently breaking the laws like:
Littering which blocks up the Catch Basins,
Blowing leaf litter and grass cuttings into the storm drains,
Parking on the greenspace between the sidewalk and the street which grinds off the grass and lets dirt flow into the Catch Basins and reduces the ability of the compacted ground to absorb, and, if parked on, can damage the catch basins,
Paving front yards,
Over paving period.
And things not done that do help absorb water like:
Planting trees,
Holding water on your property whether it's taking advantage of deep Arts and Crafts eaves to live without gutters so the water doesn't run straight to the street or rain barrels and rain gardens,
Using new technology to create more permeable surfaces.
When we forget it's a SYSTEM and we allow incompetence and malfeasance we get what we got.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Catch Basins and Leaf Blowers

Is it legal to use a leaf blower to blow leaf litter and grass cuttings into the street?
and if you don't believe me, below is the ordinance prohibiting this practice. 

Please remind your friends and neighbors who use yard maintenance contractors so that this practice does not occur.  And if you do it yourself, you should probably cut that out.
Sec. 66-287. - Sweeping from premises and sidewalks to be taken up.
The owner, his agent or occupant, of all premises shall be responsible to take up or cause to be taken up all aggregate sweeping of garbage, trash, litter, grass cuttings, leaves and all other waste materials from the premises, sidewalks and abutting property including the space between the property line and the curbline in front, extending 1½ feet from the curbline into the street or roadway and in the rear and alongside thereof of such premises owned or occupied so that such sweepings shall not under any circumstances reach the drains, gutters, streets or roadways. The owner, his agent, or occupant shall be responsible to have all sweepings placed into containers sufficient to prevent such sweeping from being scattered by the wind and placed out on the days designated for collection.
(Code 1956, § 28-19)

Sec. 66-287.1. - Use of leaf blowers to transfer or direct debris to public drains prohibited.
Leaf blower. A mechanical, battery-operated or gasoline-powered device which projects pressurized air forward to cause movement of leaves, grass or other debris commonly associated with grass cutting, lawn care, gardening or yard maintenance activities.
Public drain. Includes catch basins or gutters located parallel to public rights-of-way, open segments of city subsurface drainage conduits, flood control and water path canals or drains located on public property and incorporated into the public infrastructure for wastewater management or scipening.
Use of leaf blower to impede or restrict drainage or water flow prohibited. Use of leaf blower for private or commercial use in any manner which causes or results in the transfer, movement or directing of grass, leaves, yard debris, debris derived from yard maintenance, lawn care or any activities whereby debris is accumulated and projected to public drains or results in impeded water flow of public drains or restricts the public designated purpose of such drains is prohibited by law. Violators shall be subject to citation or administrative adjudication by duly authorized code enforcement officers or duly authorized law enforcement officers.

(M.C.S, Ord. No. 21912, § 1, 4-7-05)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Pump Locations and Power Sources

Taken from, with thanks to Justin Kray who scoured the web to find this map.

Pump Station 24 (at the end of Pritchard Place on the Monticello Canal) uses only 60 cycle power.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How does drainage work in NorthWest Carrollton

Taken from with thanks to Matt McBride

"1830s-1850s Steam-powered, wooden paddle wheeled draining machine at Dublin used to drain the upriver communities. Claiborne is the limit of development. Beyond Claiborne are the backswamps."

It is amazing that this is still how the area is thought of, anything North of Claiborne and West of Carrollton is thought of as "not as good" as the rest of the area.   Living in this section of town we don't think it is true but we do recognize the tendency for this to be the way it is presented.

NorthWest Carrollton is in Service Area 6

This is how the subsurface drainage flows in NorthWest Carrollton

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Healthy Catch Basins and 311

This is what a healthy catch basin looks like:
Greenspace not parked on,
Clear of debris,
And most importantly: FLOWING.

If you see a catch basin surrounded by water today it is either because:
it is the lowest spot in the area (note the area in the background),
it is blocked and you can clear the blockage (and why not littering is important),
Or the city needs to MUCK out the catch basin.

Today is the day to do this assessment in your neighborhood.
If you see a problem be specific with the street address and call it in to 311
or better yet send a photo and an email to
You don't see the problem when it's dry.


Healthy Catch Basin - no city installed curb

This is an example of a healthy catch basin.

Kudos to my neighbors who
Cleaned out the catch basin,
Cleaned off the street in front of the catch basin including edging the grassy area and then added bricks to keep the edges clean and the water FLOWING.

This street does not have a CURB installed by the city.

Corner Dante @ Pritchard Place Corner Dante @ Pritchard Place