Photograph of City of Santa Rosa vaccum truck 
Vac/Jet Truck 

Maintaining Storm Drains

Do catch basins and storm drains get cleaned out?
Yes, but not every year. A Public Works Department two-person crew works year-round cleaning silt, trash and other deposited pollutants out of catch basins and storm drains. The crew operates a large vacuum truck which annually removes 250 cubic yards of debris from the storm drain system. Santa Rosa’s storm drain system includes over 320 miles of underground pipes and over 18,000 structures. Only a portion of the entire system can be cleaned each year. Anything left on paved areas can end up in the storm drain system. The City needs everyone’s help to keep trash and pollutants out of the drainage system to prevent flooding and protect downstream creeks.

Why doesn’t the City clean out catch basins right before a storm?
The City assigns two two-person crews to clean out catch basins before the winter rainy season. Although every catch basin can not be cleaned before every storm due to budget restrictions, most years every catch basin is inspected before the onset of heavy winter storms. Public Works crews are also on call during storms and respond 24 hours a day to flooding complaints.

Why doesn’t the City install filters or screens in front of catch basins?
Filters or screens in front of catch basins are easily clogged with falling leaves and debris, potentially causing property damage and street flooding.

Why isn’t a net/fence/barrier installed at the end of a storm drain channel?
A barrier at the end of a storm drain would significantly impede flow and could become clogged with materials washed down the storm drain. As a result, the barrier could cause property damage and street flooding.


 Report a Flooded Street