TOPEKA (KSNT)- Letting leaves pile up in storm drains could be detrimental to city infrastructure.

As the leaves fall from the trees, it’s important to make sure your leaves don’t end up where they should not be. Fallen leaves gather on the street and on the curb but some leaves block water runoff from draining. With blocked storm drains comes flooding, causing a number of issues.

As temperatures drop, it is even more important to make sure leaves are out of the way, as leaves and ice can freeze in the drains.

“When we get that next rain, that’s going to take all those leaves and it’s going to go down to the storm drains,” Storm Water Permit Coordinator Aaron Grams said. “What happens then is that some will enter, and then others will get blocked. We try to keep them up into the yard, keep them off the streets and curb lines so that way the storm drains can be clear and be able to drain off that stormwater and snow melt.”

The Topeka Utilities Department says it has a program that checks storm drains for blockage throughout the city. You are always encouraged to report drain blockage issues by calling the customer service center at 785-368-3111.

Topeka Municipal Code prohibits the intentional or direct placement of leaves into the street by raking, mowing, or leaf-blowing, as well as burning leaves within city limits. The city says using leaves for personal compost or donating to a community garden are great alternative options for leaf removal.