For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Joseph Ayankoya, (510) 644-6620


Berkeley, California (Wednesday, October 04, 2006) - October is an especially busy time for City of Berkeley street crews.  Heavy leaf fall means more resources dedicated to street sweeping and storm drain clearing.  With the rain season imminent, field crews have to be on special alert. The City made an early start this year to clean storm drains to prevent or lessen the localized flooding experienced in the past few years.  On September 22, maintenance crews initiated the “All Storm Day Program", assigning special expanded crews to clean storm drains in selected areas. 

All Storm Day, new this year, is in addition to the fall routine storm drain cleaning.  They are focused on crews cleaning approximately 7,000 storm drain pipes in the city prior to this upcoming rainy season.  The plan is to clean all the drains by October 31, 2006. The effort begins on Friday, October 6 with a 12-person crew assigned to pre-selected areas giving special attention to main streets, residential neighborhoods and commercial areas with heavy leaf fall and those most prone to flooding in the past. As a final step, on Saturday, October 28, approximately 30-40 workers will inspect and clean any remaining storm drains not yet cleared.

Leaves, vegetation growing around the drains, and other accumulated debris are the main  culprits that clog storm drains.  At least once every 12 months, the City makes an effort to maintain and clean all of the storm drain pipes. Residents and businesses can help with leaf removal, especially during the heavy leaf fall season, by carefully observing street sweeping days and not parking on those blocks at the designated times.  It is especially difficult for vactor truck drivers to navigate around parked cars and effectively remove leaves. 

For more information, contact Joseph Ayankoya at 644-6620.