Storm Drainage

Storm drainage - what is it?

  • When it rains or snow is melting, water that does not soak into the ground runs over the surface and drains into a collection of inlets, ditches, pipes, ponds, culverts, creeks until it reaches the South Platte River. As you have likely experienced during a storm, a significant portion of water flows in the streets.
  • This water, called storm drainage or stormwater runoff, is not treated at a wastewater treatment plant. It goes directly into creeks and ultimately the river.
  • The system of inlets and pipes and creeks are managed and maintained by City staff. Some creeks are maintained with assistance from the Mile High Flood District.
  • Storm drainage is managed in order to minimize flooding and limit pollutants into stormwater.
  • Much of Littleton is older, and unfortunately some older developments did not adequately design for or properly accommodate storm drainage. As a result, there are drainage problems in the City. City staff continually evaluate storm drainage problems and potential solutions. These projects are prioritized into design and construction projects as funding allows.
  • The Storm Drainage Enterprise Fund provides budget for such projects in the public right of way, in addition to funds for maintenance activities of existing pipes and drainage channels. This is billed to residents and business owners together with the sanitary sewer billing.
  • New storm drainage systems in the city of Littleton must follow the design and construction criteria presented in the revised 2022 Littleton Storm Drainage Design and Technical Criteria Manual (version 7)(PDF, 5MB) (updated Jan. 2022).
  • There is a procedure for designing storm drainage outfalls for projects that are tributary to the High Line Canal. See the Stormwater Transformation and Enhancement Program Pathway Guide(PDF, 10MB) for more information.