Stormwater

About the Program
For many years, the City has been committed to improving the quality of urban runoff through the development of a proactive, comprehensive Stormwater Management Program that recognizes Arcata's unique position in the Humboldt Bay watershed and the need to protect our important natural resources. For more information, view the following plans:
Keep waste and debris out of storm drains, creeks and Humboldt Bay.

Storm Drains
Storm drains are meant to divert storm water from our streets and prevent flooding. They lead straight to creeks and Humboldt Bay without filtration. It is against the law to throw anything into the street, gutter or creek - like litter, leaves, cigarettes, pet waste, restaurant wash water or auto fluids like motor oil. If these items are in the street or gutter, they will wash into a storm drain and pollute our creeks and Humboldt Bay. Federal, state and local laws require that businesses and citizens put only rain down the drain!

So please, help keep our creeks and Humboldt Bay clean by not washing materials into streets and gutters.

Call the City at 707-822-8184 if you see any large or hazardous item in the street or gutter, or email reports.

Low Impact Development



Low-impact development, or LID, is an approach to managing stormwater that aims to capture, treat, and help stormwater runoff seep slowly into the ground in a way that mimics how water passed through the area before development. LID accomplishes this by incorporating features throughout a project site like tree plantings, rain barrels at the end of roof gutters and planted buffer strips. These small-scale improvements intercept and slow stormwater runoff so creeks and streams won’t suffer erosion and flash-flood flows during storms. Some LID features also process pollutants like motor oil as the water sinks into the soil, making the pollutants less toxic. Without LID improvements, stormwater often flows swiftly into stormdrains, carrying untreated water directly into creeks and Humboldt Bay.

The City of Arcata participates in the North Coast Stormwater Coalition, a group that works collaboratively with Northern California city and county governments to reduce stormwater pollution and protect local waterways. Coalition members include stormwater management staff from the participating cities of Eureka, Arcata, Trinidad, Fortuna, Fort Bragg, and Yreka, the counties of Humboldt and Mendocino, and Humboldt State University, as well as, local, state, and federal agency representatives, non-profit organizations, tribes, consultants, engineers, and interested community members.
North Coast Stormwater Coalition