Impacts of El Nino on Stormwater Systems in Southern California

November 21, 2020
Posted in News
November 21, 2020 Seventy1 Environmental

In Southern California, we are noticing some common impacts of El Nino on the stormwater systems of commercial and residential properties we service.

Damaged Filtration Inserts

We’ve seen damaged filtration inserts caused by heavy rain and mud. Damaged devices are not compliant with the city and no longer filter stormwater. Repair or replacement is required.

At-Capacity Filtration Inserts

If not damaged, many inserts are completely filled with mud or debris and are no longer filtering stormwater. The continous weight put on the inserts can eventually break them, requiring replacement.

Filtration inserts at capacity would not pass a city inspection.

Edited Image 2016-02-04 20-42-05
Photo Jan 26, 11 05 42 AM_edited
Edited Image 2016-02-04 20-40-09

At-Capacity or Near-Capacity Filtration Vaults

Underground stormwater filtration vaults (like CDS units or JellyfishFilter, to name a couple) will most likely require additional inspection and/or service this year due to El Nino and frequent heavy rainfall.

In certain areas, rainwater is carrying a lot of dirt and sediment with it. A vault we came across in Sorrento Valley was completely filled with heavy sediment and rocks. Other vaults might not be as impacted.

Water and sediment exceeding the recommended capacity for vaults should be removed as soon as possible to make room for future storms, prevent flooding, maintain the functionality of the vault and to continue filtering stormwater. Clean-out is needed based on water and sediment levels given by manufacturer.

Obstructed Inlets

Fallen vegetation and debris collects around storm drain inlets, eventually blocking them. This can potentially result in flooding or pooling, and should be cleared after each rain event.

Want to find out how El Nino is impacting your property’s stormwater system?

Learn more.