Stormwater Program

The City of Phoenix has two separate sewer systems: storm drains and sanitary sewers.  Storm drains carry rainwater UNTREATED to our rivers, washes and retention areas.  Sanitary sewers carry water from toilets and sinks to your local wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) which treats sewer water to meet State and Federal surface water quality standards.

The City has a Arizona Pollution Discharge Elimination System (AZPDES) stormwater permit (AZS000003) issued by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).  Under this permit, the City has developed and implemented a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) to reduce stormwater pollution.  Program activities are summarized in the City of Phoenix's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Annual Report.‚Äč 


The Stormwater Program focuses on the following areas:   

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The Stormwater Management Section works in cooperation with other City departments (Streets Transportation Department, Office of Environmental Programs, Public Works, and the Planning and Development Department) to meet additional permit goals. For example, the Street Transportation Department is responsible for maintenance of storm drains and washes, cleaning the streets and catch basins, as well as creating maps of the City's storm drain system. The Planning and Development Department monitors construction sites for stormwater compliance. Public Works implements the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program, and works with Keep Phoenix Beautiful to conduct environmental education and outreach programs. The Office of Environmental Programs coordinates city employee training and evaluates City facilities for compliance with stormwater requirements. 


Phoenix Case Study - Code Review to Promote Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater and create healthier urban environments.  Examples of green infrastructure include permeable pavement, rain gardens, and urban tree canopy.