Routine Storm Response

System Configuration: The City Storm Drain system collects water through gutters, ditches, and catch basins, and conveys that water generally from west to east, by gravity, through canals and 12 inch to 60 inch storm mains to the pump stations on East Main Street. From there it is pumped into a canal along the south side of the Cache Creek Settling Basin. From there it flows into the Yolo Bypass, Tule Canal, and the Sacramento River. There are several detention basins in various locations around the City, that assist in dealing with peak storm flows.

System Design: The storm drain system is not adequately sized for the flows that it must handle. In the older sections of town, particularly west of East Street, the capacity is generally less than required for a "two year" storm (meaning a storm that has one chance in two of occurring each year-or a 50% probability of occurring each year). When the capacity of the system is exceeded, localized street flooding occurs until 3-4 hours after the rainfall subsides and the streets are again able to drain. While it may appear that the catch basin grates are blocked, the system is just overloaded and the excess water is "stored" in the gutters and on the street. A citizens Blue Ribbon Committee, appointed by the City Council, studied the situation in 1988 and reported that the benefits of upgrading the system (at a cost in excess of $10 million) was not justified. We will review this issue in our pending Storm Drain Master Plan update.

During periods of intense rainfall, City crews:

  • Monitor the storm situation and adjust staffing accordingly;
  • Concentrate on posting signs on flooded/closed streets;
  • Insure the pumps are operating properly, and;
  • Check catch basins in critical locations to prevent blockages.

Residents can assist by:

  • Not driving on flooded streets
  • Not creating wakes, when it is necessary to drive on flooded streets;
  • Keeping gutters clear of yard clippings/leaves;
  • Keeping catch basins clear of leaves;
  • If desired, obtain sandbags and sand from commercial sources. (Business may call Public Works at 661-5962 to be listed on the City website during a flood event).
  • Report unusual flooding problems to Public Works at (530) 661-5962 during normal business hours or to Yolo County Communications/Emergency Dispatch after normal business hours at (530) 666-8920.