Stormwater and storm sewer system

Not all of the water generated when it rains or snows can be absorbed into the ground. What is left is called stormwater. As stormwater washes over roads, yards, roofs, and parking lots, it picks up pollutants such as motor oil, pet waste, fertilizer and litter. The stormwater then makes its way into storm drains and the city’s storm sewer system. Unlike the sanitary sewer system, storm sewers do not transport runoff flows to a treatment plant to remove the pollutants. The stormwater is discharged directly into creeks and streams, along with the litter and pollutants it has picked up along the way. This can lower the quality of our natural waterways and make our creeks and streams unfit for swimming, fishing, and supporting aquatic life.

Stormwater can also pose problems with flooding. When rain falls on impervious surfaces such as roads and rooftops, it cannot infiltrate into the ground, but it concentrates and drains downhill, and as it does, it picks up speed. Without detention basins and retention ponds to temporarily hold the fast-moving stormwater, these flows would reach our creeks and streams faster than before development, leading to flooding in low-lying areas. The speed of the water can also create erosion, which introduces sediment pollution in our waterways and decreases the clarity and quality of our creeks and streams.

Flooding program

Stormwater projects

Stormwater Quality Projects Incentive Grant Program

The Stormwater Quality Projects Incentive Grant Program provides financial assistance for projects that improve water quality, reduce stormwater runoff and educate residents about stormwater and water quality issues in our community.

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