When it rains or snows, debris, sediment, bacteria and nutrients on sidewalks, streets and parking lots wash into gutters, through storm drains, and eventually flow into the streams, lakes, ditches and canals.
Over-irrigation, car washing and many other activities can results in water flowing into the gutters. Fertilizers, paint, oil, and other materials that can be harmful to the environment may end up in Arvada's lakes and streams after a storm.
Ralston Creek, Van Bibber Creek, Leyden Creek, Little Dry Creek and the many ponds and lakes within the City's boundaries may be potentially affected.
Control Flooding and Improving Water Quality
Stormwater flows across paved (impervious) surface, picking up materials like trash, metals, oil, soil and chemicals before discharging into creeks and rivers. Ditches, ponds and lakes are used as stormwater facilities to slow the water down and reduce the potential for flooding and settling out contaminants so that mostly clean water flows downstream.
These structures channel, divert, and capture stormwater flows to control flooding of downstream properties and improve the water quality of our stormwater runoff before it gets to creeks and rivers. Examples of stormwater facilities are swales or ditches, detention ponds, and outlet structures.
Stormwater Facility Maintenance
In general, Home Owners Associations (HOAs) and management companies are responsible for maintaining stormwater facilities through legal documents created at the time the development was constructed.
The City can help inventory what stormwater structures that you own and are responsible for maintaining. The City also inspects both municipal and private stormwater facilities and will communicate to you what maintenance needs to be done.
Arvada's Stormwater Permit
The City was issued a Permit from the State of Colorado that requires programs to be developed to protect area waterways. This permit includes programs such as public education, responding to spills, controlling construction pollutants and keeping City facilities and activities protective of waterways.
Required programs are listed in the City's Stormwater Management Plan in the Program Description Document (PDD). The PDD is publicly available for review and comment. Please contact the Stormwater Division to request the document.