Common Storm Drain Problems
Common Stormwater Facility Problems

Vegetation overgrowth, sediment build up and blocked pipes are the most common problems. Left unchecked for too long, these can clog facilities leading to neighborhood flooding, or worse: costly facility repairs or replacement. Contractors can do maintenance ahead of our annual inspections, or you can do it yourself.

Vegetation Overgrowth

Fast growing, noxious or invasive plants can come back fast if not managed correctly. Ivy, Scotch Broom and Blackberries should be removed. Cattails are useful, but should cover only about 25% of a pond. Use the information available on Thurston County Noxious Weed Control department website to identify them and learn to control them effectively.

Photo of overgrown wet pond covered with cattails  Photo of overgrown wet pond with trees and cattails

Sediment build up or soil erosion

Sediment can build up where pipes drain into ponds. Or, the opposite can happen, too much soil can erode where pipes drain.  Excess sediment can be removed to eliminate the build up, and rock rip rap can be added to slow erosion.

Photo of pond blocked by sediment build up  Photo of soil erosion around outlet pipe

Pipes – inlets and outlets

If the facility has inlet and/or outlet pipes, they need to be in good shape (not crushed or crumbling as in the pics below) and kept clear so water can enter and exit as intended.

Photo of crushed inlet/outlet pipe Photo of crumbled inlet/outlet pipe 

Erosion at a construction site

Erosion from construction sites is dangerous to drivers, and leads to polluted rainwater runoff.  If you see something like this at construction site, it's considered a dumping or spill problem. Please report it

Photo of soil erosion tracking out from construction site

Debris and damage

Stormwater catch basins can fill with debris and ponds can be damaged by vandals off-roading through them.

Photo of sediment build up inside a catch basin  Photo of stormwater dry pond damaged by vandals driving on them