While fall seemed to have come and gone in a flash with the arrival of snow Monday, colorful leaves still sprinkle several yards after the cold snap.
The Jefferson City Public Works Department reminded residents to be conscientious of water quality when raking leaves and adding winter chemicals.
Residents can rake leaves and compost them as mulch and fertilizer around trees, flower beds and gardens, according to a city news release last week. They could also mulch the leaves in their current location using lawn mowers equipped for mulching.
The compost facility at 2417 Southridge Drive also accepts bags of leaves.
Burning is another option, if the outdoor conditions are suitable for burning. Open burning season runs Nov. 1-March 1, 2019, during daylight hours, the news release states.
The city encouraged residents to not rake leaves into the streets or stormwater system, as the leaves can clog stormwater inlet grates and block drainage.
Residents should also avoid disposing large amounts of leaves in creeks and along creek banks. Leaves "suffocate the established vegetation whose roots are holding the soil in place," speeding up creek bank erosion, the news release states. The decomposition of large amounts of leaves in creeks can also reduce the available oxygen for water-dwelling insects, fish and amphibians.
The department urged residents to dispose of pet waste appropriately. Residents should never dispose of pet waste, yard waste or other pollutants in drainage ways, the release states.
Residents should avoid adding large amounts of salt or deicing chemicals to sidewalks or driveways. While it may be more convenient to apply extra salt or chemicals during winter, the news release states, the excess chemicals are washed into creeks and rivers when the snow melts or it rains.
If a vehicle is leaking oil or other fluids, the city suggested containing the leak in drip pans and disposing of it properly to avoid washing the liquids into the stormwater system.