In the late 1990s, the city developed a Storm Water Master Plan to identify project-by-project storm water needs. This report identified more than $300 million of necessary maintenance and capital improvement projects. In 2001, the City implemented a storm water utility fee to generate the capital required to address drainage issues and improve overall water quality in Marion County. Projects in the plan are prioritized to address the worst problems first.
The City is working to meet the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to improve the quality of storm water discharged into our rivers and streams. Public outreach efforts are educating businesses, landowners and residents to minimize harm to the city's drainage system and waterways.
The Marion County Storm Water Management District Master Plan currently is being updated. Click here for a list of projects planned for 2009 through 2013.
In 2011, the City of Indianapolis transferred the city's water and wastewater utilities to Citizen's Energy Group, thus creating Citizen's Water (CW). CW and DPW share some of the responsibilities for storm water management in Marion County. Primarily, CW is responsible for the combined sewer system, as both storm water and sewage are together in this system. CW is also the first responder for all storm water related issues. Once an issue is reported, CW investigates it and determines who is responsible: CW, DPW or the property owner. Storm water issues can be reported to CW by calling 631-1431. Billing issues are still handled by the Storm Water Management District at 1(866)-786-7659.
Flooding may be the result of any number of problems and should be brought to the City’s attention. When heavy rains cause flooding in city streets and sidewalks, please notify the Citizen's Water at 631-1431. In emergency flooding situations, residents may still contact the Mayor's Action Center (MAC) at 327-4MAC. In flooding situations, DPW will provide sandbags to residents. The availability of sandbags will be communicated to property owners through the media and on this site.
Some areas flood because one or more property owners have failed to maintain drainage ditches and driveway pipes. Property owners are responsible for making sure that their drainage ditches allow water to flow. They are also responsible for making sure their driveway pipes are clear of debris and are in proper working order. For more information on property owner responsibilities, click here.
How does the City prevent potential flooding?
To help prevent potential flooding, CW maintains facilities to help ensure safe and efficient control of storm and surface water within Marion County. Each year, DPW cleans and repairs approximately 4 million square feet of creek banks, levees, open channels, and detention areas. This maintenance requires the removal of large vegetation, downed trees, log jams and other debris. DPW also mows approximately 5,500 acres of levee banks to provide erosion control, performs floodgate maintenance and repair, and installs drainage pipes and other structures to help improve water flow.
Ponding water most often occurs on private property and may be the result of one or more factors. Property owners are responsible for making sure drainage ditches, driveway pipes and drainage easements are free and clear from debris, weeds, high grass, and other objects that will obstruct the flow of water. The city will only address ponding water that is on private property if the ponding is due to the failure of the City's infrastructure. If you have ponding water on your property and you think the city is responsible, please report your concerns to CW at 631-1431.
Drainage problems can affect the city's infrastructure, driving conditions, and our quality of life. CW, through the United Water contract, is charged with maintaining its sewers and other drainage infrastructure. Property owners have many responsibilities which, if neglected, can affect drainage on both private and public property. Property owners are responsible for drainage issues that occur on private property.
Below is a list of helpful links for more information:
Your storm water drainage and water quality responsibilities as a homeowner.
Marion County Storm Water Utility under City-County General Ordinance 43
Marion County Storm Water Management District Master Plan.
City of Indianapolis’ Initial Priority Rating.
Storm Water Credit Manual.