Operations and Maintenance

Our Rain to Recreation program identifies stream corridors as critical ecosystems, vital in managing water quality and quantity. We incorporates the principles of hydrology, watershed management and ecology with traditional infrastructure to create a more sustainable system. Our stormwater staff works with gray stormwater infrastructure—pipes, culverts and ditches— and green stormwater infrastructure to control and reduce flooding and polluted runoff.  

Pipe and storm drain maintenance 

Men inspecting a manhole

Our storm drain system includes more than 340 miles of pipes, more than 14,000 storm drains and nearly 29 miles of roadside ditches, which are both publicly and privately owned. We use everything from shovels to excavators to keep the public portion of this system maintained and working properly. This includes:  

  • Proactive diagnostics: crews use a camera to inspect and rate underground pipes. 

  • Flood prevention: repairing and replacing failing pipes, storm drains and culverts. 

  • Pollution reduction: cleaning pipes and storm drains with a large vacuum pump. 

  • Ditch repair: maintaining roadside ditches by removing excess sediment. 

Stream and green infrastructure maintenance 

Man harvesting wildflower seeds

We focus on preventing floods and reducing pollution by maintaining or increasing the natural functions and capacity of streams, ponds and lakes. We do this by:  

  • Stabilizing stream banks: Repairing eroding banks reduces flooding risks and keeps soil in place.  We accomplish this by regrading, installing energy dissipation devices such as rock weirs, utilizing erosion control products, seeding native plants and planting trees. 

  • Managing vegetation: We control invasive species and reestablish native plants to provide flood protection and promote habitat and pollution removal and filtration. 

  • Removing debris: Removing limbs or fallen trees significantly reduces the potential for flood damage to structures and nearby homes and buildings. 

  • Collecting pollutants and litter: In the 2015 winter clean-up, the crews collected 318 55-gallon bags (55 cubic yards) of trash from streamways. We collected another 135 55-gallon bags from city-maintained best management practice sites. Smaller stream way cleanups are conducted on a monthly basis. 

Contact Information 

Ted Semadeni, Stormwater Maintenance Superintendent, [email protected]