Streets & Drainage

About the System

The storm water system commonly referred to as the drainage system is operated and maintained by the Operations Division of Public Works.

Access more information on the current City-Wide Drainage Study.


Storm water run-off (storm sewer) is collected in the curb and gutter streets and channeled to the underground piping network which conveys the water to larger stormwater structures and ditches. It then flows into Braes Bayou and then flows to the San Jacinto River Basin - Houston Ship Channel Segment 1007 and finally to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Drainage Concepts

West U streets are designed to act as channels to convey water in combination with the underground pipe systems. The hydraulic grade line is the level to which water will rise as it flows through the drainage system.  Rain intensity and duration is important in drainage as the harder it rains, the greater the rate of flow and volume load on the system.  

Click HERE to view some common drainage concepts (graphics included)


The division is concerned with the transportation of the water away from the city as well as with the prevention of pollution of the water bodies into which the system discharges. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regulates the discharge of pollutants into and from storm sewer systems. The city has prepared a Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP) (PDF) to guide us in meeting the storm water discharge permit from the TCEQ. View the Storm Water Discharge Permit (PDF).

Storm Water Drainage 101 (video)

Click HERE to see a short video explaining the hydrology and storm water drainage system.