Storm Water Projects Planned for Chico

The city has 17 different ideas planned to improve groundwater and recharge local creeks, streams and the overall water supply.

Posted: Jul 11, 2018 4:10 AM
Updated: Jul 11, 2018 7:50 AM

Chico, Calif.-- The City of Chico is asking local residents to weigh in on a plan to protect local streams and groundwater.

They've mapped out 17 projects throughout the city aimed at protecting local water and reducing erosion.

The area near Chico State's Laxson Auditorim collects 5.5 acre feet of runoff water a year.

So, the city wants to create a bioswale where they could collect that runoff from city streets and parking lots and filter it and then let it soak into the soil.

"A lot of people design lansdscaping so that the water runs off of it and into the storm drain - a bioswale does the opposite. You grade the site so the water colelcts there and has a chance to soak in to the ground, recharge the aquifer and in doing so, a lot of the pollutants are decomposed by the action of the soil," said the city's Senior Civil Engineer Matt Thompson.

This particular project is more about recharging the groundwater and ultimately, enhancing our water supply.

They want to create a few at some Chico Unified schools as well.

This all would be funded by state grant money, and that also means they have to follow careful guidelines.

Other projects include raising the east bank of the Rock Creek Levee to reduce Keefer Slough flooding in north Chico.

Another would be to implement some creekside clean-up efforts.

Imagine a rain garden East 12th street between Cypress and Pine - it would look like a picnic area, with local art sculptures and other projects.

The garden would capture and treat storm water and dry weather run-off rom rooftops, sidewalks, driveways and then hold the water so it can slowly infiltrate back into the soil as the plants, mulch and soil naturally remove pollutants from the runoff.

There is also an idea to get rid of some concrete and instead, plant rain gardens around the downtown parking structure.

Collaboratively, they will make a difference when it comes to protecting and being able to make better use of our natural water supply in Chico.

The city can't jump right into all of the projects right away, but they want to have a concrete plan so they can get the funding.

They also want to make sure that Chico residents are on board, so if you have an opinion, let the city know what you think by July 12th.

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