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The City of Corpus Christi operates a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System, also called a MS4. A MS4 is a system in which the storm-water runoff does not connect with a wastewater collection system or treatment plant.

In short, stormwater and wastewater are two separate drainage systems. The stormwater system is a system of roadside ditches, underground pipes and culverts, streets, curbs and gutters, and major collector ditches that convey rainfall runoff directly to our streams, creeks, and bays without any treatment. The wastewater system is a network of underground pipes to transport wastewater from homes and businesses to wastewater treatment plants. For more information about wastewater operations in the City of Corpus Christi please visit: https://www.cctexas.com/departments/wastewater.

There are two basic ways that rainfall runoff is collected from nearby properties into the storm sewer system. In areas where there is no curb and gutter, the streets are elevated above the surrounding ground level, and runoff from nearby properties and street pavement is collected by roadside ditches that lead to major ditches. In areas where curb and gutter is installed, the street elevation is below the surrounding land. The curb and gutter, as well as the street, collect the runoff and carry it to curb inlets. The inlets are connected to an underground pipe system that channels the runoff to the major ditches.

The system, whether it be ditches or pipes, is designed to accommodate the runoff from a storm of a specific intensity (how fast the rain falls) and duration (how long the storm lasts). If a storm event exceeds the designed rainfall intensity or duration, the excess runoff cannot be held by the system and is stored in the roadside ditches or, in the case of a curbed street, in the street itself. Once the event has passed, the water is carried off through the system in a relatively short time.

The City has two divisions dedicated to stormwater. The Stormwater – Maintenance of Lines division is responsible for maintaining inlets, pipes, and drains to provide adequate levels of drainage and flood protection. To report flooding and drainage issues to the City of Corpus Christi’s Maintenance of Lines division please call (361) 826-CITY (2489).

The Stormwater Pollution Prevention division is responsible for managing activities associated with the City’s Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permit. The TPDES permit is issued to the City by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to control the discharge of pollutants to surface waters of the United States. The TPDES permit requires that the City to have a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) to reduce the discharge of pollutants from the City’s MS4 to the Maximum Extent Practicable (MEP).