Stormwater facilities are those structures that 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.
Why do we need stormwater facilities to control flooding and improve water quality?
Before the neighborhood, business or commercial site was built, clean stormwater most likely soaked into permeable grassy areas or fields. When rooftops, driveways, streets and parking areas were built, most of the stormwater no longer soaks into the ground, but flows at a rapid rate across paved (impervious) surface, picking up materials such as trash, metals, oil, soil and chemicals along the way before it discharges into creeks and rivers. Swales, depressions, and ponds are used as stormwater facilities because they slow the water down to reduce the potential for downstream flooding, and settle out contaminants so that only clean water flows from the development.
Who maintains these stormwater facilities?
In general, HOAs and/or management companies are responsible for maintaining stormwater facilities through legal documents created at the time the development was constructed. Many HOAs and/or management companies are not aware of their responsibility nor do they understand the financial burden associated with it. When the developer conveys the open tracts to HOAs or to a business or commercial entity, the developer is no longer responsible for maintaining those areas, even though stormwater facilities still need to be maintained.
Doesn’t the City maintain stormwater facilities?
The City maintains the curb, gutters, streets, inlets, manholes, and underground pipes that convey stormwater and any swales, detention areas, outlet structures and ponds that it owns. It is important to inventory what stormwater structures that you own and are responsible for maintaining. The City can help you do that. The City also inspects both municipal and private stormwater facilities annually and will communicate to you what maintenance needs to be done.
You may receive a letter from the City stating that maintenance must be conducted on your stormwater facilities. Please do not hesitate to call 720-898-7807 if you have questions or click on the Arvada Home Page and e-mail us at Ask Arvada