Storm Water Management

Most people do not know that there are two completely separate systems that handle storm water and sewer water here in Fountain Hills. Having separate systems for storm water and sewer waste water is common in virtually every municipality in the Valley. On average the Valley receives about seven inches of rain each year. So how is our storm water treated differently than our sewer waste water?
After a rain our storm water travels through a complex storm water conveyance system that is made up of gutters, catch basins, streets, washes, retention basins and other storm water conveyance structures. While the storm water travels through the system the water carries debris, oils, sediment and other contaminates it picks up along the way.

The water and other materials that enter the storm system aren't treated for contaminants similar to the sanitary sewer water; it goes directly into the ground via infiltration into the soil. These contaminates will eventually make their way into our water table and even into local rivers and lakes.
Storm Water Management Graphic
Unlike storm water systems, the sanitary sewer system is a closed system that collects waste from homes and businesses from sinks, toilets, showers, and baths. From there, the waste water travels through a series of pipes to a waste water treatment plant where the waste is then treated.
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Fountain Hill's Responsibilities

The Clean Water Act (CWA), among other things, regulates storm water and urban runoff to protect water quality. The Phase II Final Rule requires small municipal storm water systems (MS4s) such as Fountain Hills, to obtain a permit which specifies the measures that will be taken to prevent pollution from entering the storm system. In Arizona, Phase II permits are administered by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).

The Town of Fountain Hills has been holding a Phase II permit since June, 2003 and as a result, has certain requirements imposed upon the Town as a permit holder. Our main requirement is establishing and maintaining our Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP). Fountain Hills is required to prohibit non-storm water discharges into the storm water system and to implement enforcement procedures.

In order to meet these requirements, the Fountain Hills Town Council adopted Ordinance 03-13 on June 3, 2003. The SWMP includes six Minimum Control Measures with Best Management Practices (BMPs) and measurable goals for each:

  • Construction Storm Water Runoff Controls
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Pollution Prevention
  • Post Construction Storm Water Management
  • Public Education and Outreach
  • Public Participation/Involvement

Sediment from flooding builds up along the roadThe Flood Control District of Maricopa County is about to begin an update to a study of flooding issues in your neighborhood and surrounding areas.

During this phase, engineers will build a computer model of the area updating flooding information last collected in 1997. This model includes terrain, buildings and current flood control measures such as storm drains and basins. Once complete, the model will undergo a series of scenarios based on historically accurate storm data. This will help us identify flood-prone areas and evaluate how flooding hazards have changed in recent years.

How can you help?

Share the project information with others. The project fact sheet - available through the link below – has all the information you need, including a study area map. Please share with any email groups to which you have access, or simply include its information in any newsletter you produce for the members of your neighborhood HOA. 

Share your flooding information with us. Input from the public is very important to us, especially during this phase of the project. Your photos, videos and stories about flooding in the area help us validate the model scenarios. Use the link below to send them to us.

Questions? Please reply to this email or call our project hotline at (623) 825-3444.


The Flood Control District of Maricopa County wants to know about flooding and drainage issues in your area to include in the Fountain Hills Area Drainage Master Study (ADMS).
Public Feedback Requested


Street Sweeping

As part of our Storm Water Program the Town has a very thorough street sweeping program. The Town sweeps 177 miles of streets annually and collects approximately one and one-half tons of debris from our streets every day. The debris is made up of litter, tire residue, oil and other pollutants. By removing this debris from the roadways we remove the ability for our storm water to carry the debris sending the pollutants to outfalls and into the ground and eventually into the natural water supply system.

Fountain Hills is a member of Storm Water Outreach for Regional Municipalities (STORM) an organization made up of 23 municipal organizations. The STORM organization helps provide educational material relating to storm water management and provides a forum for discussion on best management practices for participating municipalities. Click here to visit the STORM website.

Informational brochures provided by STORM:

Advertisement highlighting the importance of using water wisely and not pollute.