Sierra Drive Stormwater Pipe

Stormwater System

What's In the System And How We Maintain It

Jump To:

Stormwater System What We Do What Makes Up the Stormwater System? Ongoing Survey Work

Stormwater System

The stormwater system is made up of natural and man-made infrastructure. It carries stormwater through the city to local stream and rivers. This helps: 

  1. Reduce hazardous flooding;
  2. Preserve water resources; and,
  3. Protect people in Raleigh.

What We Do

Our goal is to improve and maintain the system so that it works correctly. We also use resources to collect data on the condition of the infrastructure throughout the year. The stormwater system in Raleigh consists of:

  • 600+ miles of City-owned stormwater pipes
  • 1,000+ miles of stormwater pipes owned by NCDOT and other private property owners
  • 190+ miles of City-owned streams, creeks, ditches, and other open channels
  • 980+ miles of streams, creek, ditches, and other open channels owned by private property owners.

What Makes Up the Stormwater System?

Click through the images below to see what makes up the stormwater system in Raleigh.


We oversee 36 low and high-hazard dams that are on City, public, or private property. Do you have a dam on your property? Learn how to maintain it.

If you are visiting a recreational area that has a dam, please DO NOT go near the dam or spillway structures.

Did you know: All lakes in Raleigh are man-made and have a dam. The dams can be used to store water for mills, agriculture, water supply, hydroelectric energy, flood control, recreation, and aesthetics.

Pipes and Culverts

We improve and construct corrugated metal and concrete pipes, and concrete box culverts that carry stormwater through the system. This infrastructure reduces flooding to homes and streets, and protects watersheds in Raleigh.

Learn more about stormwater projects.

Storm Drains

We inspect and maintain more than 26,000 storm drains in the city. Stormwater maintenance crews handle these repairs. They also make sure that storm drains are cleared before a rainstorm. 

Report a clogged storm drain.


Streams, lakes, and rivers are essential natural assets that benefit the environment and community. We repair and/or restore streams throughout Raleigh to improve their water quality and reduce impacts from flooding.

Learn more about lakes in Raleigh.

Stormwater Devices

These devices control and clean stormwater that flows onto a property when it rains. We maintain 75 City-owned devices and inspect more than 2,000 on private property. 

Learn more about stormwater devices.

Ongoing Survey Work

We're getting data and details on the condition of the stormwater system across Raleigh. This includes collecting information on the type and location of the infrastructure and where water flows when it rains.


  • Better understand the pipes and drains that carry water to streets and streams when it rains; and, 
  • Meet state regulations that require us to take an inventory of the system. 

Where We're Working

Zoom in on the map below to see where we're collecting data. Select the three lines on the map (upper right corner) to see what the icons mean.