Rainfall slow to clear due to clogged drains

Posted at: 07/22/2013 6:18 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

After heavy rains fell in Albuquerque, the water has to go somewhere. But it turns out a lot of it is getting slowed down by trash and dirt clogging city drains.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 went to the city to see what they’re doing about it, and it turns out they’ve gotten more than 50 calls about drains that they’ve been fixing.

Los Altos Park, too, had skate park bowls filled with water, trash and mud from weekend weather until crews cleaned them up Monday.

“It rains so hard that all the dirt came from over there, rocks and everything,” 11-year-old Isaiah Hill said.

The cause is clogged drains, and KOB found them across the city. Leaves jammed drains near Lousiana and Aztec, and trash blocked grates at Comanche and San Pedro.

The city has 15,000 inlets, so it’s tough to keep track of them all – but they say they tackle big problems first.

"We'll have crews that are on duty during the rainstorms and are looking for those type of areas,” Michael Riordan of Municipal Development said. “Anything swelling up, going onto property.”

For city streets and parks, causes are similar, including movement by rain and people dropping trash on them. The city says inlets typically catch the trash, but they also have a second line of defense.

"if any debris goes past that inlet, we've got trash racks in all of our pump stations,” Riordan said. “The sediment will stay at bottom of risers and inlets, to make sure the clearest water possible gets into our river.”


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