Spring Run Off

Spring Runoff Preparation Information for Salt Lake City Residents

Salt Lake City Public Utilities (SLCPU) works year-round to clean and maintain our stormwater infrastructure to ensure the system works properly and with reliability. This is especially important in anticipation of spring season runoff, when increased water volume will put extra stress on our creeks and storm drain system. The heavy and regular storms of the 2018-19 winter have left abundant snowpack in our mountains—more than 100 percent of normal. Runoff typically peaks in the Salt Lake Valley in early to mid-May. Leading up to this, SLCPU continues to monitor stream flows and weather patterns and to maintain infrastructure so we can be prepared. SLCPU is also coordinating with several other Salt Lake City departments and Salt Lake County Flood Control to effectively and safely manage spring runoff.

Salt Lake City is preparing for spring runoff and maintaining public safety in these ways:

  • SLCPU stormwater maintenance teams are moving throughout the City, cleaning storm drain inlets and grates on streams and canals, and maintaining storm drain pipelines and lift stations.
  • SLCPU has and continues to construct, replace, and repair infrastructure, such as culverts and pipelines, in key areas.
  • SLCPU carefully monitors and manages water storage levels in its Parleys Canyon and Red Butte reservoirs.
  • SLCPU coordinates efforts with other Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County agencies, such as Salt Lake City Police, Fire, 911 Dispatch, Public Services, and Emergency Management Services, and Salt Lake County Flood Control and Salt Lake County Emergency Management.
  • SLCPU is conducting longer-term planning to prepare for sudden and intense storm events brought on by climate change.
  • SLCPU and Salt Lake City Emergency Management are coordinating public outreach and response with other departments and Salt Lake County in the event run-off leads to flood risk.
  • In an abundance of precaution, SLCPU has filled 6,000 sand bags, and has thousands more that can be filled if needed.

Salt Lake City residents can prepare for rain events and spring runoff and prevent possible property damage in these ways:

  • Make sure roof gutters and downspouts are clear of leaves and other debris.
  • Point downspouts away from the house and other property.
  • Check street gutters and storm drain inlets near your property. Please clear them of leaves and other debris to help keep stormwater flowing freely or call SLCPU (number provided below) to report an issue.
  • Investigate a flood insurance policy. It may be a wise purchase, as standard homeowner policies cover water damage from inside the home, but not from exterior flooding. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, homeowners can insure a home for up to $250,000 and its contents for up to $100,000. Renters can cover their belongings for up to $100,000. The average, national premium for a yearly flood insurance policy is about $700 per year. For additional information about flood insurance, visit here: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program
  • Be aware and stay clear of high and swift water when visiting local streams and stormwater and irrigation canals and ditches.
  • SLCPU’s 24-hour emergency dispatch number, if needed, is: 801-483-6700

Links to advice and services related to flooding, emergency preparedness, disaster relief, and other support:

  1.  https://www.floodsmart.gov/
  2.  https://www.ready.gov/floods
  3. https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/flood.html
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/readiness.html
  5. https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1409002852888-3c5d1f64f12df02aa801901cc7c311ca/how_to_prepare_flood_033014_508.pdf
  6. https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood
  7. https://www.osha.gov/dts/weather/flood/preparedness.html