PHOENIX (KSAZ) - With the Valley just days away from the start of monsoon season, the Arizona Department of Transportation is asking something of the public to prevent a scene like this from happening.
"We're getting ready for the season, monsoon, and we want people to be thinking about it, it's just amazing to see the amount of trash that accumulates in a pump station like this!" said Doug Nintzel of ADOT.
It's never OK to litter for the environment's sake, but also for safety reasons. When the chance of rain amps up during monsoon season, the possibility of flooding from clogged storm drains does also.
You may not realize it, but there are 59 pump stations along the Valley freeway system, so what exactly does that mean?
"The job of the pump station is to take the water that's draining from the freeways, and in many cases the local neighborhoods, and lift that water as it's delivered into either the drainage channel in the area or a retention basin nearby," Nintzel said.
When it rains and there's litter and debris in the road, that gets carried directly into the system. If that system clogs, the drain can no longer do its job and the freeway floods, causing a danger of hydroplaning and accidents.
But there is something you can do to help... don't contribute to the mess, even unintentionally.
"We're always trying to tell folks this is a reason not to litter, it's a reason not to throw that stuff in the back of the pickup truck and let it blow out along the freeway because that stuff has to go somewhere, and a lot of times, it ends up blocking the grates leading into a pump station like this!" Nintzel said.