SFPUC Crews Prepare for Much Awaited Rainy Weather

The much needed rain is finally here.

With more rain expected over the next several days in the Bay Area, the SFPUC is reminding residents of the many resources that the agency offers to help prepare for stormy conditions. Those measures include the Floodwater Grant program—a critical resource that allows property owners to implement projects on their properties to minimize risk of damage due to heavy rains.

The SFPUC encourages eligible property owners to take advantage of the Floodwater Grant program, which reimburses residents up to $100,000 for flood-proofing projects they implement in their homes. Projects supported under the grant program include backflow prevention devices for customers’ sewer laterals, installing flood barriers on the doorsteps or driveways, water-resistant seals, sump pumps, or other property-specific improvements to reduce the risk of damage from flooding. Backflow prevention devices are among the lowest cost property improvements and can help prevent or minimize property damage from minor street flooding for many properties. 

Along with offering the grant funding for household improvements, SFPUC crews clean, inspect, repair and replace storm drains, pipes and anything in between throughout the year. These efforts are coupled with short and long-term capital improvement projects and flood resilience resources to prepare for the rains. 

When heavy storms hit heavily-paved San Francisco, all that water has few places to go, causing runoff that can overwhelm our sewer system. By 2050, through capital projects, grant programs and the City’s Stormwater Management Ordinance, the SFPUC has a goal to capture 1 billion gallons of stormwater using green infrastructure.

The SFPUC is working to transform the storm by making San Francisco’s impervious surfaces like rooftops, landscapes, school grounds, and traffic medians as porous as possible through Green Infrastructure projects, and grants for the public to do the same. 

The SFPUC is also investing in capital improvement projects in three key low-lying neighborhoods to help reduce the risk of flooding.

  • 15th and Wawona neighborhood: The stormwater management project started fall 2021, with estimated completion in late 2024. 
  • 17th and Folsom neighborhood: The project is currently in the design phase and is expected to begin construction in late 2022 or 2023, with completion estimated by 2027.
  • Lower Alemany: The project is in the early planning phase and is expected to begin construction in 2024, with completion estimated by 2028.

The SFPUC conducts outreach to SF residents and businesses year-round, especially before a major weather event. All property owners, renters and business owners are encouraged to take advantage of resources to prepare for the rains.

The best way to report issues such as localized flooding, sewage backup or clogged catch basins is to contact 311 at www.sf311.org, or by calling 3-1-1.