Storm Water Maintenance

The storm drain system is a network of catch basins, manholes, channels and underground pipes that carry stormwater (rain water) to holding ponds and eventually to the Mississippi and Elk Rivers. The network consists of public and private systems. The Streets Division is responsible for maintaining public drainage system and structures.

Stormwater falling off yards, roofs, streets, and parking lots drain through this system before discharging into the rivers. The stormwater ponds are designed to store and slowly release water over time – a day or two. During that period, some of the particles of sediment carried in the water fall to the bottom of the pond. Attached to these particles are various types of pollutants. Many of our ponds are designed to a specific size to hold the water long enough to allow pollutants to settle to the bottom. As sediment accumulates, it is more difficult for ponds to store the water long enough to allow pollutants to settle out. Instead, they pass through and are carried further downstream.

Stormwater ponds require maintenance and the removal of excessive sediment to allow the pond to function as designed. Crews dredge ponds to remove the sediment and dispose of it at an approved location. This practice allows the stormwater pond to more effectively handle stormwater runoff which improves overall water quality.

It is important to remember that the storm drain system is not a part of the wastewater collection system, which carries waste water from homes and businesses to the treatment plant. Stormwater does not flow to the wastewater treatment plant.

The main components of the storm drain system visible above ground:
  •  Roadside ditches
  •  Curb inlets–Catch basin
  •  Ditch inlets
  •  Channels: grass, concrete, stone (rip-rap) and some asphalt
  •  Outfalls (pipe openings)
  •  Stormwater retention pond
Property owners are responsible for routine grounds maintenance, such as grass mowing and trash/debris removal. Owners need to ensure catch basin structures are kept free of yard waste, grass clippings, tree trimmings, volunteer tree growth, leaves or other obstructions that may block the flow of water.

If you notice issues with stormwater infrastructure, submit a concern on RequestTracker.