Stormwater Drainage System
As watersheds become more urbanized, much of the vegetation is replaced by impervious surfaces, reducing the area where infiltration to ground water can occur. Thus, more stormwater runoff occurs. This runoff must be collected by the City’s drainage system to prevent flooding of private property.Additionally, Madison was built on low-laying wetlands east of the capitol in the East Washington Avenue corridor, in the Fordem Avenue railroad corridor, and along the rivers and lakes. As the City developed these wetlands were filled in but they continue to be low-lying regions. This makes flood prevention especially difficult in these areas, and requires significant stormwater infrastructure to move stormwater out of low-lying areas and into the lakes.
Ponds and greenways are part of a more than 2,000 acre drainage system designed to slow the velocity of stormwater flow and promote infiltration of stormwater into the ground. These areas also provide a buffer that captures significant amounts of sediment, nutrients, and pollutants before they reach lakes and rivers. Connecting these features together is an intricate network of pipes that collect stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces, like roads, and convey it through the drainage system.
Pond and Greenway Tour
View a small sample of the wide range of stormwater ponds and greenways managed by the City of Madison Stormwater Utility.
To find out more about Madison’s stormwater drainage system, check out these topics:
Private Use, Dumping, and Encroachments