The primary function of the City of Dubuque's stormwater management program is the same as any private property owner: manage stormwater on their property. This sometimes means passing stormwater through the property or simply managing the stormwater that originates on the property.
Each year stormwater management projects and programs are identified in the five year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget to maintain and improve the City's existing drainage system. Projects range from the construction of new detention basins and the extension of storm sewer systems to the rehabilitation of existing storm sewer systems. Programs range from public ditch, storm sewer, and detention basin maintenance to a program to maintain and improve the water quality of stormwater runoff.
Many drainage problems are of a localized nature, involving the drainage of only a few residences. However, due to a growing number of citizen complaints the City Council authorized the development of a Drainage Basin Master Plan (DBMP) for two of the major watersheds - the North Fork Catfish Creek and Bee Branch drainage basins. The DBMP determined that approximately 1,150 homes and businesses are at risk of flood damage during heavy rains and it recommended a series of improvements in both watersheds.
The City of Dubuque adopted a stormwater detention policy in the early 1990s to prevent developments from creating new flooding problems. You can find out more about the City's development review process here.