Winter Drainageway Maintenance Improves Water Flow and Prepares for Spring Runoff

The City of Sioux Falls performs silt and sediment removal in drainageways, river channels, and ponds each year to improve capacity in the drainage system.

A majority of the work performed in drainage areas is done during the winter months, which allows City crews to maximize their efforts without the possibility of a rain event flooding the work area. The frozen ground provides a stable surface for heavy equipment and trucks to access the sites and remove the excess material. In cases where the project scope is large, the City may contract the work out to a third party that can dedicate additional resources to the project.

The City works annually to ensure drainage systems are functioning at their highest capacity. Some interesting facts regarding this maintenance activity include:

  • 7,650 tons of silt have been removed so far this winter from the river channel in the City’s levee system, with more to come as weather allows.
  • 1,850 tons of silt and debris have been removed in the past week from the Prairie Green pond.
  • 11,000 tons of material were removed this past year from streets through street sweeping.

“It is important that we keep our channels, ponds, and rivers operating at their highest capacity to help protect private property during large storm events,” says Andy Berg, Environmental/Stormwater Manager.

For more information regarding the City’s drainage system, call the Public Works Environmental Division at 605-367-8276.