Channel Maintenance - Wetland Permits
The City's Public Works Department maintains a drainage network of pipes and open channels which allow storm water to flow from streets and neighborhoods to creeks, lakes, and lagoons. Maintenance activities prevent area flooding and use heavy equipment to remove vegetation, sediment, and debris from earthen and concrete-lined channels, some of which contain flowing water year-round.
In August 2015, the three regulatory agencies; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a five-year Regional General Permit to the City to allow regular work in 63 earthen and concrete channels, including the entire 6.3-mile-long Escondido Creek flood control channel. The City maintains a map and list of all currently permitted maintenance facilities. Since 2015, 11,226 cubic yards of silt, vegetation, and trash debris has been removed from open channels. The City is working on renewing the permit to continue to allow maintenance and add select facilities not included in the initial permit.
Utilities/Environmental Programs works closely with Public Works staff to ensure City compliance with State and Federal regulations, including the Clean Water Act (Sections 401 and 404) and Endangered Species Act. Due to the sensitive nature of the project there are many permit conditions in place, including a biological monitor who surveys the site before and during the work to monitor potential impacts to water quality and nesting or endangered birds. Annual Reporting and maintenance of a wetland mitigation area in Kit Carson Park are also required.