Stormwater/Drainage

The Right of Way and Stormwater Maintenance (RWSM) Division is responsible for maintaining over 1,000 miles of ditches across the city, in addition to stormwater ponds, curbs, inlets, culverts and other stormwater facilities.

Stormwater maintenance is funded by the stormwater fee under the Jacksonville Stormwater Utility

If you have questions about drainage maintenance, improvement projects or the stormwater fee, please e-mail the Jacksonville Stormwater Utility or call 630-CITY (2489).

Ditches

Ditches and outfalls (large ditches) are cleaned both proactively and by request, depending on the condition and functionality of the ditch.  

When a ditch clean request is received, the ditch will be evaluated to determine its condition and function.  If the conditions are not critical - meaning there is no immediate threat to public or property safety - the request will likely be assigned to our StormWater Action Team (SWAT) as part of the Proactive Maintenance Program.

If the condition warrants a responsive action, it will be handled as appropriate based on other requests in your area's maintenance queue.  Responsive actions are based on both the severity of the situation and the chronological order in which requests are received.

StormWater Action TeamMore about the Proactive Maintenance Program

Jacksonville's "municipal separate storm sewer system," or MS4, is an inter-connected system of open and closed conveyances (ditches and pipes) to direct stormwater runoff (rain) away from development and into ponds, creeks, tributaries, and the St. Johns River.

Over time, natural and man-made materials - dirt, leaves, pine straw, garbage - make their way into these conveyances, causing blockages that make the system function less efficiently. Sometimes, property owners will fill in ditches or swales to improve the aesthetic appearance of their yards or to make maintenance easier.

Under the new Proactive Maintenance Program, our StormWater Action Team (SWAT) looks at neighborhood systems as a whole, and makes the necessary corrections to ensure the entire system functions effectively.

This may mean that some ditches are left alone, while other sections that appear to be fine are cleaned and dug out (re-graded) to restore proper flow.  The team also cleans pipes, culverts and inlets that are part of the conveyance system.

Once a SWAT area is complete, we need property owners' help to maintain it.  Do what you can to keep vegetation cut down, and clean up excess leaves, grass clippings or pine straw in your yard to prevent it from washing into the ditches or pipes.  Picking up litter in the neighborhood is also helpful.  And please, never dump anything into a ditch or storm drain - it's against the law, and it's bad for our drainage system and the environment!

If you still have questions about the program, please e-mail stormwater@coj.net.

Ponds

Ponds are crucial in keeping Jacksonville's neighborhoods dry and sediment and contaminates from entering Jacksonville's rivers and tributaries.

There are generally two types of stormwater ponds that serve to control stormwater (rain):

Detention (wet) ponds - A detention, or wet, pond is a pool' of water into which rain (stormwater) is directed, held and eventually discharged into the local drainage systems. These ponds provide stormwater treatment, where contaminates are allowed to settle to the ground so the water that enters the drainage system is cleaner than when it entered the pond.

Retention (dry) ponds - Conversely, a retention or dry pond does not permanently contain water nor is the water discharged into a greater drainage system - it remains in the pond until it either evaporates or is absorbed into the ground. They do provide some stormwater treatment.

Jacksonville has come a long way in its management of stormwater. State and local regulations require that new large-scale residential and business developements include retention ponds to treat the stormwater that the development receives.

Likewise, most new road and road widening projects require ponds. The ponds control the flow of water while improving the water's quality before it is released back into the city's tributaries and ultimately, the St. Johns River.

Curbs and gutters, inlets

Some of Jacksonville's neighborhoods were designed with curb and gutter. In terms of functionality, curb and gutter is not necessarily any better or worse than ditches.

The RWSM division is responsible for maintaining existing curbs and gutters to ensure they remain in good working condition. Curbs will not be replaced for cosmetic deficiencies.

The city has a special assessment program for residents interested in having curb and gutter installed where none currently exists. It requires that the abutting property owners contribute to the cost of construction.

For information about the curb & gutter assessment program, or to report a problem with your curb, gutter or inlet, please call 630-CITY (2489) or visit 630-CITY online.

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