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Recent Austin Rains Can't Drain, Blocked By Tons Of Trash
A backed up drainage ditch in Austin led to a major traffic back up Wednesday morning. KEYE TV found out the rising water is a part of a much bigger issue.
The overnight rains flowed into a drainage ditch on South MoPac and Far West, but the water had nowhere to go, leaving drivers at a standstill.
"Usually it's about 10 minutes to get to work and it took about 45 so I just barely made it on time,” says Lauran Denney, driver stuck in traffic.
The Texas Department of Transportation says the drainage blockage was the result of miscellaneous debris, which took a while to clear. TxDOT says citizens can help by not littering.
City of Austin employees agree and say it’s crazy what they find in their drains. "Auto parts, bicycles, mops, hubcaps,” says Roxanne Jackson, Watershed Protection Department, City of Austin.
The water from the drainage ditches feeds into Ladybird Lake. We followed it and found tons of trash.
“We get over 400 tons of material out of the storm drain systems every year. That's quite a bit,” says Jackson.
This trash is costing you. Every day city crews work to clear 900 miles of storm drains. A drain utility fee is attached to your city bill for under $8.
However, even at the fast pace these crews work, sometimes trash clogs quicker than they can clean. So next time you discard unwanted items, remember this trash could cost you time.
"It wasn't fun this morning, that's for sure,” says Denney.
If you suspect a storm drain near you is full of trash call 311. If you see someone dumping in a storm drain, call the city’s pollution hotline at 512-974-2550.
By Ashley Miller