A stormwater box culvert under construction on Newton Road

Stormwater System

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Stormwater System Ongoing Survey Work Dams Pipes and Culverts Storm Drains Stormwater Devices Waterways

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.

Learn About the System 

Learn more about the different types of infrastructure in the stormwater system: 

Ongoing Survey Work

We're getting more details on the condition of the stormwater system across Raleigh. This includes working with a consultant to collect data on the: 

  • Type of infrastructure;
  • Location; and,
  • Where water flows when it rains.

Timeline: September 2021 - September 2022. (City staff does other survey work throughout the year.)


  • 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 to see where we're collecting data. There are four zones on the map - we'll be working in numerical order. 


The downstream view of the dam at North Shore Lake

Dam spillway at North Shore Lake.

We oversee 36 dams in Raleigh. This includes inspecting and maintaining low- and high-hazard dams that are located on City, public, or private property. 

Dams play an important role in maintaining the City’s drinking water supply and flood control measures. They even are connected to many of the City’s recreational facilities where you can swim, boat, picnic, and fish. While we love for you to visit local lakes, please do not go near any of the dam and spillway structures.

Do you have a dam on your property? Learn how to maintain it. 

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

A new stormwater pipe that carries rainwater from Juniper Street

A new stormwater pipe on Juniper Street.

We improve and construct round corrugated metal/concrete pipes and concrete box culverts that carry stormwater through the system. This infrastructure reduces flooding to homes/streets and protects the watershed

View stormwater projects

Storm Drains

A metal storm drain on a street in Raleigh.

A storm drain that carries water from streets to creeks like Walnut Creek and Crabtree Creek. 

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

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


Repaired stream on Petworth Court

The stream on Petworth Court after construction.

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