City dealing with stormwater issues

City Market parking lot flooded during recent heavy rainfall. Courtesy photo

ALAMOSA– With the recent heavy rain events and more predicted, the City of Alamosa wanted to share with residents some of the factors that might cause pooling of water as well as what City staff is doing. 


There are several factors that can cause water to not drain properly and it depends on the location to know exactly which one(s) might be the culprit.  


The number one reason water may not drain quickly is that rainstorms, like the ones we have seen recently, would be hard for any system to handle without some pooling.  The amount of rain in such a short amount of time can overwhelm any system.


Unfortunately, a large majority of the community's stormwater system is undersized for such large events. The City is working on replacing undersized storm lines when there is street construction and as part of the line replacement program.  However, these repairs are expensive and will take time.

Staff is using these storms to identify critical areas and in some cases working to make the improvements. For those projects that are more expensive (many exceed $200,000), staff is working to prioritize them in the Capital Improvement Plan. Some of the lift stations for the system are also undersized or at the end of their life.  Since each lift station costs approximately $350,000, it is not something that can easily be repaired over night. 


Sometimes there is a failure in the system that the City is not aware of until a rain event occurs such as a clogged or collapsed line, broken pump, debris in the pump or culvert, etc.  While we do perform annual maintenance, some of the issues simply do not present themselves until a rain occurs. Crews have been out during the rain events monitoring what is going on, repairing what they can and identifying these areas where we have something wrong (more than just undersized and/or too much rain).


Some properties are built at a lower elevation than the neighboring properties.  In this case, gravity is going to win and these properties will see pooling.


If you have any further questions, please contact our Public Works Department at 719-589-6631.

 

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