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Host a Cleanup Event to Help Protect Ankeny’s Waterways

Cleaning Ankeny’s Waterways

May 10, 2024

Surface water, such as the water in streams, rivers and basins, is important to the health of plants and animals. Surface water can serve as drinking water for humans and can also become groundwater, which is another source of drinking water. Many of the plants and animals that humans use for food rely on surface water and / or pumped groundwater for survival. Therefore, keeping surface water clean is important to the health of all living beings.

Protecting Ankeny’s Waterways

Illicit discharge is any discharge into the storm sewer, streams, rivers or basins that is not comprised entirely of stormwater. Illicit discharges may be from industrial activity, oil deposits on parking lots, excess lawn fertilizer and yard clippings and other sources which pollute water with turbidity, excess nutrients and bacteria. Dumping liquids or putting any refuse into storm drain inlets is also considered an illicit discharge and eliminating these discharges is an important step in protecting Ankeny's waterways.

Watershed Stream Cleanup

You may be asking, what can I do to help? The best way to keep illicit discharges from occurring is to follow good housekeeping practices. This includes recycling or properly disposing of waste, keeping waste receptacle lids secured on windy days and cleaning up spills or litter immediately. It is also important to keep grass clipping and leaves off the street. Another way to help is by keeping your neighborhood storm drains clean of debris and litter.

The City of Ankeny recently hosted a Watershed & Stream Cleanup event to help remove trash from City properties that have streams, wetlands and basins. If you are an Ankeny resident and want to host your own local cleanup event, please reach out to City of Ankeny Public Works – Stormwater staff for help at bford@ankenyiowa.gov. City staff can provide guidance, trash bags, disposable gloves and help properly dispose of the collected trash.

With the #7 Lowest Cost of Living in the U.S. and a Top Metro for Number of Economic Development Projects (among metros with a population of 200,000 to 1 million), Greater Des Moines (DSM) is a region where you can have it all. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.

Becky Ford

Becky Ford is the Stormwater & Environmental Manager for the City of Ankeny.