Community Flood & Storm Protection Initiative

Stormwater Infrastructure - Safer Today, Stronger Tomorrow

Why Is Stormwater Infrastructure So Important?

Protecting Residents and Businesses from FloodingSan Mateo Daily Journal Photo - Sunnybrae Flooding January 2023

Safe communities need robust stormwater systems to protect residents and businesses from flooding.

  • When stormwater is managed effectively, it is channeled away from homes and businesses and safely into waterways or storage facilities
  • When streets and other low-lying areas become flooded, the water can quickly rise to dangerous levels
  • Flooding can be costly
  • Flooding can also disrupt critical infrastructure such as power, water, and transportation systems, which can create further safety risks for residents.

Our stormwater system is comprised of:Public Works crews clear out a creek trash rack during a storm

  • 130 miles of storm drains
  • 20 miles of open creeks and drainage channels
  • One flood control lagoon
  • Ten pump stations
  • Three-mile Bayfront levee
  • Future storms will be more intense, putting more pressure on the City’s stormwater infrastructure. Through careful planning, we can build resilience in the face of climate change and aging infrastructure. Safer today, stronger tomorrow.

Review our FAQs to learn more or check out our Community Flood and Storm Protection Initiative fact sheet.

Dedicated Resources to Protect Our Community

A dedicated revenue source would fund repairs and improve aging infrastructure, so residents and businesses can be better protected from flooding. 

  • During heavy rain events, stormwater can overwhelm the existing Infographic on where stormwater flows in a community Opens in new windowsystem and cause flooding. Stormwater management systems, including levees and pumps, can help prevent flooding and protect communities from damage caused by severe storms. 
  • System failures happen more frequently with aging infrastructure, leading to worsened flooding conditions over time.
  • Recent large storm events have highlighted the City's aging infrastructure deficiencies. 
  1. What Projects Will this Initiative Fund?

Projects will include:

  • Storm drain Condition and Capacity Assessments
  • Updated Stormwater Master Plan 
  • San Mateo Creek and Marina Lagoon Dredging and Maintenance Permitting 
  • Flood prevention and storm water system capacity improvement projects:
    • Drainage Area Projects 
    • Stormwater pump station upgrades 
    • Levee improvements 
    • Green Infrastructure Projects 
    • Regulatory Compliance 
  1. Cost of the Community Flood & Storm Protection Initiative

Stormwater Pollution Graphic July 2020

Keeping Our Water Clean Keeps Us Safe

Properly managed stormwater systems protect the health and wellbeing of local residents, wildlife and habitats by reducing pollution in our local waterways and the San Francisco Bay. 

Properly managed stormwater systems can filter out pollutants and trash from stormwater runoff before it enters local waterways and the San Francisco Bay, protecting aquatic life and habitats.

We are required by law to prevent contamination of stormwater by utilizing clean work practices, inspecting businesses and construction activities, and educating the public. We are a member of a comprehensive countywide effort to prevent stormwater pollution. For more information, visit San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program.

Resource to Build Resiliency

Stormwater can become a resource for community development, rather than a nuisance, when stormwater management systems have the funding and support needed for innovative and sustainable solutions.

Marina Lagoon

The Marina Lagoon (Lagoon) is part of the City’s stormwater system. This aquatic gem provides floodMarina Lagoon - Parkside Brochure Cover Opens in new window control and recreation to the entire community, as well as wildlife and ecological benefits. Significant improvements and lagoon dredging are needed to protect these benefits.

Sustainable stormwater management promotes healthier and more resilient ecosystems, and can create new opportunities for recreation and habitat restoration.

Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure - Image courtesy of San Mateo CountyGreen Infrastructure allows rainwater to soak and filter into the ground, reducing the quantity of water and pollutants flowing into local creeks.

Learn More About the Community Flood & Storm Protection Initiative

  1. Project History
  2. Next Steps
  3. Helpful Resources