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Public Works

Flooding and Stormwater Management

Why should we manage stormwater?

Stormwater that is not absorbed into the ground has to go somewhere - preferably somewhere that doesn't cause flooding or poor water quality. 

Stormwater management is a cross-jurisdictional collaboration that weighs historical information, current conditions, and future plans and development to help keep stormwater from creating flooding and water quality problems. 

Click here to read about where your water comes from and how stormwater is managed in Sedgwick County.

Flooding Affects Everyone

During Sedgwick County's “rainy season,” which is usually in the spring, neighborhoods throughout the county can experience flooding. And, the fact that your home has never flooded before is not a guarantee that it won’t happen in the future. The frequent addition of roads, buildings and parking lots make our lives easier, but also make floods more likely and more severe. So, even if you are not at risk of flooding today, tomorrow may be a different story.

Click here to read about flooding issues in Sedgwick County.  If you are concerned about flooding in your area or have been informed that you live in a flood plain, visit the FEMA Flood Insurance Program website for information about flood insurance and assistance.

Stormwater Affects Water Quality

Stormwater not absorbed by the ground, or stormwater runoff, can be damaging to the environment and contributes to flooding.  In fact, it's the number 1 water pollution problem in the United States.

This runoff carries debris, chemicals and other pollutants into storm sewers or directly into the creeks, rivers, and lakes we use for fishing, swimming, and drinking water.  Managing this runoff, or stormwater management, is necessary to protect our water quality, but it's also expensive.

Click here to read about water quality in Sedgwick County.

Choices Today Affect Water Tomorrow

The choices we make affect our ability to manage stormwater.  Everyone can play an important role in reducing stormwater runoff and the problems and costs that accompany it. The solutions start with paying attention to stormwater at home, at work and in our communities. 

Click here to read about what you can do to help manage stormwater.

Spring Creek Watershed Study

The Sedgwick County Stormwater Management Advisory Board completed a study in January of 2014 of the 32 square mile Spring Creek watershed located between the cities of Derby and Wichita.  The final report includes an in depth analysis of the existing basin and presents solutions to create and maintain a healthy watershed.  Please contact Daniel Schrant, PE with any questions regarding this study at dschrant@sedgwick.gov or (316) 660-1774.

NPDES Permit

Sedgwick County is currently allowed to discharge stormwater to waters of the United States through its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4 - inlets and pipes, as well as open ditches, which discharge to waters of the U.S. and are owned and maintained by Sedgwick County). This is possible due to our Kansas Water Pollution Control General MS4 Permit and Authorization to Discharge under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

Essentially, the NPDES is a permit program managed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Click here for a stormwater permit (for construction activities in Sedgwick County that will disturb more than one acre of ground).

Stormwater Management Advisory Board (SMAB)

SMAB informs and advises the  county commission on all matters related to stormwater management.  It's purpose is to protect lives and property within Sedgwick County by promoting better stormwater management and providing financial, technical and other assistance to all entities within Sedgwick County that are concerned with stormwater management.

The SMAB meets at 3:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at 1144 S. Seneca, Wichita, KS 67213.

Specific Goals

  • Minimizing threats to life, property, and infrastructure from flooding.
  • Enhancing quality of life for citizens throughout Sedgwick County, not just those directly impacted by flooding
  • Making investments to avoid future taxpayer liabilities
  • Building public support for actions, activities, and behaviors that lead to the protection of water resources
  • Fostering high-quality economic development
  • Protecting environmental quality

Program Objectives

  • Avoid future liabilities
  • Secure dedicated funding
  • Educate the public, staff, and elected officials about proper watershed management and its benefits to the community and natural environment
  • Create multiple-benefit improvements
  • Provide appropriate technical guidance and model regulations
  • Perform studies and prepare stormwater master plans for all Sedgwick County watersheds
  • Adopt a comprehensive flood risk management approach
  • Integrate watershed, land use and open space planning
  • Prevent pollutants from entering Sedgwick County waterways.
  • Preserve wildlife habitat that provides storm water management benefits

Questions or comments? Contact the SMAB

Jim Weber
Deputy director
Sedgwick County Public Works
660-1773

Dave Barber
Metropolitan Area Planning Department
268-4490

SMAB Resolution