Stormwater

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The City’s Stormwater program has two major components: 

  • Operation and maintenance of the City’s storm drainage infrastructure to ensure the protection of life and property from flooding; and
  • Monitoring and protecting stormwater quality in accordance with federal, state, and local environmental regulations.

The Stormwater program is managed  by the City’s Stormwater Operations Staff and the Environmental Resources Division.

What is stormwater?

IMG_8614Stormwater is the water from precipitation that flows across the ground and pavement when it rains.  Stormwater starts as just rainwater, but as it runs off roofs, yards, driveways, and any impervious surface, it can pick up pollutants such as dirt, trash, animal waste, oil, gas, fertilizers, pesticides, metals, and other materials in its path.

Impervious surfaces, such as roads, parking lots and driveways, prevent stormwater from being absorbed into the ground.  Instead, stormwater runs off the ground and into the storm drain system.  The City’s storm drain system is composed of on-street storm drain inlets, underground stormwater pipes, stormwater detention ponds, drainage channels, and stormwater lift stations. These facilities are all designed to convey stormwater and prevent flooding as they move stormwater away from properties and streets. In Davis, our drainage channels, detention ponds and wetlands all have natural soil surfaces and vegetation so some of the stormwater can infiltrate into the soil and be filtered by the vegetation. The rest of the stormwater from Davis will eventually flow into the Sacramento River and out to the San Francisco Bay.  

Why is it important to protect stormwater quality?

Stormdrain and sewer graphicUnlike wastewater that goes down the drains inside a home (via sinks, showers, toilets, etc.), stormwater is not treated. In Davis, stormwater flows directly from the streets to local ponds (West Area Pond, Evergreen Pond, Julie Partansky Pond, Sutter Davis Hospital Pond, the Cannery Pond and the Core Area Pond), then out to wetlands and waterways. When stormwater carries pollutants (such as dirt, trash, animal waste, oil, gas, fertilizers, pesticides, metals, etc.), it not only harms aquatic plants and animals, but can also cause adverse effects on our use of water for swimming, fishing, drinking, and agriculture. Because of these factors, it’s important to remember that only rainwater belongs in a storm drain.

The community can have a big impact on stormwater quality. Follow the links in the upper right corner of the page to review what you can do at home and at work to make a big difference to stormwater quality.

Additional City programs and resources:

Our Water Our World
Workshops and Events
Integrated Pest Management
Partners for a Greener Davis
Solid Waste and Recycling
Water Conservation
Wildlife Resources
Report Illegal Dumping