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Channel Maintenance Prioritization and Survey

UPDATE:  The Channel Maintenance Prioritization Survey is now closed.

The City of San Diego's Storm Water Division is developing a prioritization plan for storm water channel maintenance efforts. The plan includes an opportunity for the public to provide input on the selection of channels to be included in the City's maintenance program. Through participation in the Channel Maintenance Prioritzation Survey, the City will incorporate public concerns and input as part of the selection process along with evaluations of hydrology and potential impacts from flooding.

As part of the City's preliminary assessment process, the top 30 channels have been identified for maintenance. Information for these channels can be accessed in the links below.


The purpose of this work is to maintain existing storm water facilities by restoring their original design capacity to provide public safety and protection of property. The City must routinely maintain the drainage channels through periodic removal of trash, debris, vegetation and accumulated sediment.

Prior to any maintenance activity, detailed hydrological, biological and cultural studies are conducted to identify:

  1. Where maintenance is needed;
  2. The best method to conduct needed maintenance; and
  3. The specific maintenance protocols that will be used to protect water quality and natural resources.

A detailed Individual Hydrologic and Hydraulic Assessment (IHHA) is performed to determine:

  • The design flood conveyance capacity of the facility,
  • The facility's current conveyance capacity,
  • The sources and quantity of obstruction, such as accumulation of sediment and/or vegetation,
  • The quantity of materials to be removed,
  • The method of removal, and
  • The amount of flood conveyance that will be achieved after maintenance.

An Individual Biological Assessment (IBA) is conducted to quantify the types of vegetation present in the facility and the presence of, and the potential for that vegetation to support threatened or endangered species. The IBA also identifies the mitigation measures needed to ensure that the maintenance does not affect natural resources.

Individual Historic Assessment (IHA) surveys are conducted to identify the presence of archeological resources and the potential of the facility to support cultural resources, and identify mitigation measures needed to ensure that cultural resources are not affected.

Based on the specific results of the hydrological, biological and cultural studies, the Transportation and Stormwater Department's Storm Water Division creates an Individual Maintenance Plan (IMP) that identifies the maintenance method(s) to be used, equipment type, appropriate Best Management Practices (BMP), access locations, staging areas, spoils storage sites, and schedule. In addition, the IMP incorporates relevant maintenance protocols as well as specific mitigation measures identified in the IHHA, IBA and IHA for the activity.  Here is a list of active Substantial Conformance Review (SCR) Submittals:

Priority Facilities

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