Clean sweep program

Storm drain with text "Keep 'em clean. Drains to river."

There’s a surprisingly simple and proven solution to stormwater pollution: enhanced street sweeping.

Street sweeping is a commonly used practice across Minnesota to provide a healthy, safe, and attractive environment for residents and visitors. While regular removal of litter and dirt from our streets and curbs is necessary to prevent storm drains from clogging and flooding, street sweeping can also be used to protect water quality by reducing leaf litter, trash, dirt, and other pollutants from entering our water resources. 

Research by University of Minnesota Professor Sarah Hobbie in 2022 demonstrated that street sweeping is an effective method for reducing phosphorus in stormwater. Street sweeping equipment removes leaves and other organic debris from streets that can be a significant source of phosphorus before it gets into storm drains and then to our lakes and rivers. 

The University of Minnesota Water Resources Center and Minnesota Sea Grant have partnered with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to develop the Clean Sweep Program which provides resources and training to communities to initiate street sweeping programs that will help them meet their water quality goals by targeting their efforts where it counts the most. The Clean Sweep project team used a series of surveys, focus groups, and case studies to help develop the Clean Sweep Education and Training Program in 2022 and the program continues to grow.

Article: A Sweeping Solution to Stormwater Pollution 

Upcoming events

Lunch & Learn: Financial case for enhanced street sweeping
Thursday, June 27 | 11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Public Safety Education Center, Woodbury, MN
NOTE: virtual option is available for those not able to attend in-person

Lunch & Learn: Materials reuse
July, Date TBD

Lunch & Learn: Equipment showdown
August, Date TBD

Lunch & Learn: TMDL reporting
September, Date TBD

Lunch & Learn: Developing an enhanced street sweeping plan
October, Date TBD

Lunch & Learn: Waste management guidance
November, Date TBD

Lunch & Learn: Public engagement tools and resources
December, Date TBD