Did you know that we get an average of 10-11 inches of rain per year in Madera? Have you ever wondered where all that water goes? Stormwater absorbs into the ground in natural areas where urban development hasn’t occurred. However, where urban development has occurred, there are more impervious surfaces, like rooftops, paved roads, driveways, and parking lots, limiting the stormwater’s ability to be absorbed into the ground. As a result, stormwater flows across rooftops, over the ground, through gutters, into storm drains, and ultimately into the local waterways.

As the stormwater flows over the urban landscape, it picks up and carries whatever it comes into contact with along the way. This may include animal waste, automobile fluids, pesticides, litter, and other pollutants, which may harm local waterways. In addition, the waterways can also be impaired if materials like soapy water, oil, or paint are disposed of incorrectly or dumped directly into the curb and gutter or storm drain.

The storm drainage system within the City of Madera consists of curbs, gutters, and storm drains. The storm drainage system is separate from the sewer system, which means that the water that flows into the storm drain system does NOT get treated by the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.

To protect our waterways, the City is regulated by and complies with the Phase II Small MS4 General Permit that was adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board effective July 1, 2013. The Permit requires the City to have a stormwater program that controls the discharge of pollutants into the City’s storm drainage system and our waterways. The City’s Stormwater Program is multi-faceted and includes the following components:


  • Education and Outreach
  • Public Involvement and Participation
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Construction
  • Pollution Prevention and Housekeeping
  • Post Construction
  • Program Effectiveness and Assessment