Stormwater Detention

Welcome to the City of Medford stormwater web page. Public Works is dedicated to providing the highest quality stormwater management to the citizens of Medford. Stormwater management consists of stormwater conveyance and stormwater quality. Stormwater conveyance is the ability to transport water through ditches, culverts, pipes and creeks. Stormwater quality is the cleanliness of water in our conveyance system. Medford’s stormwater system is well designed and managed to handle all but extreme events that may occur once or twice every five to ten years. The Rogue Valley Stormwater Quality Design Manual is used to guide the design, operation and maintenance of stormwater detention facilities. This manual can be found on the RVS website by clicking here.

In September 2002 the City of Medford became the first city in Oregon to be designated as “Storm Ready” by the National Weather Service. This designation is only awarded to cities that have dedicated the resources to plan, organize, and prepare for weather related incidents such as high winds, floods, and snow storms. The Storm Ready City designation is one of many things we do to assure the citizens of Medford that their city government strives to be prepared for weather related incidents.

City Council recently adopted new code requiring stormwater detention for all new residential subdivisions and commercial development. Stormwater detention is a method for reducing flows in pipes and creeks and has been required in parts of Medford since 1983. Water is detained in a pond, pipe or vault; flow is controlled by placing an orifice on the outlet pipe that restricts the outflow. This new code change was a requirement of the City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, (NPDES), Phase 2 permit with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). 

The Public Works Department is committed to implementing a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) to comply with Clean Water Act provisions. Our SWMP is under permit by the Department of Environmental Quality and outlines numerous water quality concerns the City must address. The city must also comply with Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements. In 1992, DEQ issued a TMDL that listed pH, aquatic weeds and algae, and dissolved oxygen as pollutants of concern. An additional TMDL issued in 2007, listed temperature and bacteria as pollutants of concern. For both TMDLs and our NPDES Phase 2 permit, the City has implemented programs to address these water quality concerns. One of the numerous requirements is to educate citizens regarding Best Management Practices (BMPs) for stormwater quality. You may recall receiving a pamphlet along with your December 2008 water bill that addressed items you and your family can do to help water quality in Medford. You may also have noticed colorful markers placed on drainage inlets advising that water in this inlet “drains to stream”. These examples are just two of the many items Medford is doing to meet permit requirements and increase water quality in our creeks.

Please browse this website to see additional stormwater related materials. For questions, concerns, or comments please contact Roger Thom 541-774-2129.

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