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Stormwater Management

Stormwater Management Program 

The Stormwater Management Program in the City of Gainesville identifies areas within the City that have low water quality levels or experience flooding during severe storm events. These areas are identified through Watershed Management Plans (WMPs). The various creeks around the City have large contributing drainage areas and these areas a known as watersheds.

WMPs typically follow the process below:
1.    Collection of topographical data and any surveyed data that would help identify drainage patterns within the watershed.
2.    Collection of data that would show how runoff is generated within the watershed. Examples could include: land use, soil type, gauged rainfall data, water quality testing done in the watershed, etc.
3.    Development of a stormwater model that shows how areas within a watershed are connected. This stormwater model evaluated the storage and conveyance capacity of various stormwater features and identified area that could potentially flood during certain storm events.
4.    The stormwater model is then used to estimate pollutant loading within the watershed and show areas within the watershed that have low water quality levels or contribute to the pollutants within the watershed.
5.    Once the flooding and water quality problems have been identified, the WMP recommends projects that can be implemented to reduce or eliminate some of these problems.
Once projects are identified through a WMP, the following factors, in accordance with the City of Gainesville’s Stormwater Management Element within their Comprehensive Plan, are used to rank and prioritize the projects:
a.    Projects designed to reduce or eliminate structure flooding in known problem areas;
b.    Projects designed to improve the quality of water flowing into receiving creeks, lakes and sinkholes;
c.    Projects designed to reduce street flooding during storm events ranging up to the 25-year storm;
d.    Projects designed to reduce or eliminate flooding potential of structures in the 100-year floodplain;
e.    Projects designed to reduce the channelization of creeks, and to restore habitat and wetlands;
f.     Projects designed to reduce maintenance costs.
Other watershed specific characteristics may be used in the ranking process.
Some projects may be added to the ranking process that are not be identified through a watershed management plan based on other criteria such as major pipe replacements, resolving localized flooding problems, etc.
After projects have been ranked, they are added to the Stormwater Capital Improvement Project (CIP) list where they are constructed in accordance with their ranking and available funding. Funding for these projects is usually made available through the Stormwater Management Utility (SMU) and other funding sources such as grants.
Click here for a list of current and recent stormwater projects.

Stormwater Management Utility
The Stormwater Management Utility (SMU) program was implemented in 1989. The SMU is billed through Gainesville Regional Utilities, the city owned utility.  Learn more about the Stormwater Management Utility.

Last updated September 14, 2011 

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405 NW 39th Avenue
PO Box 490,
Station 58,
Gainesville, Florida
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