Storm Water System (Drainage)

About the System
The storm water system commonly referred to as the drainage system is operated and maintained by the Operations Division of Public Works.

Run-Off

Storm water run-off (storm sewer) is collected in the curb and gutter streets and channeled to the underground piping network which conveys the water to larger storm water structures and ditches. It then flows into Braes Bayou and then flows to the San Jacinto River Basin - Houston Ship Channel Segment 1007 and finally to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Concerns

The division is concerned with the transportation of the water away from the city as well as with prevention of pollution of the water bodies into which the system discharges. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regulates the discharge of pollutants into and from storm sewer systems. The city has prepared a Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP) (PDF) to guide us in meeting the storm water discharge permit from the TCEQ. The Storm Water Discharge Permit can be viewed online.

Storm Water Drainage 101 - Drainage in Municipalities
The following video details the basic hydraulic operation of a municipal storm water collection system. If you have ever wondered why the water stays in the street after a small storm as well as after an intense storm, then this video is for you.  The video is a production by Chris Claunch, PE.