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Grant to help South Williamsport stop debris from getting into storm drains

South Williamsport Borough officials were notified it will receive a $280,000 grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection to assist with its recycling and cleaning up of stormwater systems.

The grant is expected to arrive in March, said Steven W. Cappelli, borough manager.

“It is for some much-needed equipment,” he said.

Among the equipment to be purchased includes a four-wheel-drive dump truck, a leaf machine, the borough’s first front-end loader and a wood chipper, Cappelli said.

The equipment will be ordered through CoStars, a pre-qualified vendor system, and used to expand the curbside recycling program and help with preventing grass clippings and leaf debris from getting into stormwater drainage collection systems, he said.

Leaves and grass clippings are considered a source of pollution when washed directly into storm drains or drainage ditches,

They clog the storm drains and clippings can fill catch basins to capacity and created flooding during rain events.

Dumping leaves and grass clippings into the stormwater system affects streams.

The increase in nutrients associated with grass clippings can cause algae growth, which can kill fish and other aquatic life.

Clippings also add organic material to the drainage system that can provide a breeding ground for bacteria and insects, according to department materials.

The borough is one of those communities has a multiple municipal storm sewer system permit with DEP, Cappelli said.

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