Stormwater Management

Marcy Gulch Sculpted Concrete Drop

Marcy Gulch sculpted concrete drop

Stormwater management is an important component of the Metro District’s public works services. Stormwater is collected through pipe systems from streets and then conveyed through the open space drainage ways. The drainage ways provide flood control and water quality enhancement of stormwater. These corridors are home to wildlife and are the backbone of our open space trail system. In light of these multiple uses, the corridors must be protected from the effects of increased storm flows, erosion and other impacts of urbanization. The Metro District’s Public Works staff takes a proactive approach to stormwater management by balancing these various demands.

The Metro District is a non-standard stormwater permit holder with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). This is the second permit term and was set to expire in March 2014. However, the permit was extended pending further review by CDPHE. The first five-year permit expired at the end of 2007 and was renewed for five years in 2008. The permit outlines the requirements that the Metro District is obligated to fulfill to comply with Phase 2 of the Clean Water Act as a Non-Standard Permit Holder. Copies of the permit are available for review in the Metro District Public Works Department.

Current Project Updates

Dad Clark Channel Stabilization

The Metro District, in partnership with Mile High Flood District (formerly Urban Drainage and Flood Control District), is beginning construction on this project to restore approximately 2,000 feet of stream. Construction is scheduled to begin in December 2019 and should be completed in June 2020.

The goal of this project is to stabilize and restore a section of Dad Clark Gulch between the trail crossings. The channel is experiencing bank erosion and channel degradation due to stormwater flows. This degradation is impacting the vegetation along the gulch and is adding sediment to the stormwater flows.

The project is funded jointly by Mile High Flood District and the Metro District as part of the stormwater program. For further information, click here for a presentation.

Stormwater Management Frequently Asked Questions

Who is responsible for stormwater facilities in Highlands Ranch?

The Metro District cooperates with Douglas County and the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District (UDFCD) to build and manage stormwater facilities in the community. The Metro District is responsible for drainage in the open space. Douglas County is responsible for drainage on the streets and in the storm sewer system.

What is stormwater?

Stormwater is considered to be runoff from streets and lots as the result of precipitation events, including snowstorms. This runoff is conveyed from streets and parking lots to drainageways in the natural open space areas through a series of pipes and inlets which are considered the storm sewer system. The quantity and quality of the runoff impacts the drainageways.

How are wetlands issues handled?

The Metro District has a wetlands management program. The Metro District’s Public Works staff coordinates all wetlands activities with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and currently has a 404 permit for its activities.

What can I do to keep our stormwater clean?

Since Highlands Ranch is primarily an urban community, most of the stormwater runoff is from residential area. To keep our stormwater clean, excess fertilizer, grass clippings and other organic materials including leaves should be cleaned from the street on a regular basis. Litter is the primary pollutant in our stormwater, so please use proper receptacles for any trash, and do not litter. In addition, it is critical to pick up pet waste to help keep our stormwater runoff clean.

Is the stormwater treated?

No, the stormwater runoff goes directly to the drainageways in the Metro District open spaces.

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