Stormwater Management

Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that moves across an impermeable surface. The City of St. Charles’ stormwater system includes ditches, detention basins, just over 175 miles of stormwater pipes with over 5,200 curb inlets, 2,108 storm manholes, 1,210 storm outlets, 54 culverts, 11 bridges, and multiple codes meant to control the impact of development on stormwater runoff. This system is maintained by the Public Works Department and designed to help control urban flooding events by directing stormwater runoff into detention basins, local creeks and streams. 

Federal laws require the City to control stormwater quality to keep water clean and prevent pollution. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program was established under the Clean Water Act and Phase II of the program extends permit coverage to smaller (less than 100,000 pop.) communities and public entities that own or operate a separate stormwater system. The City of St. Charles is a Phase II municipality. By properly managing our stormwater systems and investing in new pollution prevention improvements, the City of St. Charles can minimize or avoid costly federal penalties. 

Rain Gardens


A Rain Garden is a shallow depression in your yard that is planted with native wetland or wet prairie wildflowers and grasses. A rain garden is designed to naturally collect water that runs off from your roof or is discharged from your sump pump. Rain Gardens are gaining in popularity because they are low-maintenance and attract birds and butterflies while making good use of stormwater runoff.  
Learn to build your own rain garden