Stormwater Maintenance

Preventive Maintenance and Cleaning

The Stormwater Utility maintains our stormwater infrastructure by ensuring pipes and inlets are cleared and properly catching and redirecting rain water.  Stormwater infrastructure is also used to reduce instances of flooding and preserve the quality of our streams.

Cleaning Crew

The Stormwater Utility’s cleaning crew is assigned to clean and clear storm drains and pipes across Columbia.  Cleaning stormwater pipes involves using a jet to propel a cleaning nozzle that is attached to the end of a high pressure hose through all the main underground pipes. This clears the lines of debris such as leaves, trash and mud.  If necessary, the lines are also cleared of roots by attaching a hydraulic root saw to the end of the jet hose. 

Large storm pipe going under the roadway with a backhoe in the background

Closed Circuit Television Inspection

The Stormwater Utility uses a state of the art closed circuit television (CCTV) system to internally inspect storm drains and  line connections. This system consists of a color camera with a pan and tilt head which can turn 90 degrees in any direction and is self propelled through pipes transmitting a picture to a monitor and video recorder located inside a van. Using this system, problems can be located and identified quickly, without excavation, so that proper corrective actions can be taken.

Repair Crews

The repair crew is responsible for just that. Following a storm, the repair crew will visit locations previously identified obstructions to ensure the infrastructure in the area is functioning properly.  They will also investigate when a Columbia resident reports a stormwater concern.  This crew repairs stormwater lines that have been determined to be in poor condition by TV inspection that was done following a heavy rain event or because of a problem suspected during routine cleaning.