Much of the flooding within the City of Newark is, in general, a result of capacity problems within the municipal storm system, meaning the pipes or inlets are not sized according to the amount of water that is being sent to them and are quickly overwhelmed during a high intensity rain storm. Much of our system was designed and installed prior to modern engineering analysis and stormwater considerations. Most longer duration storms do not exceed the capacity of the municipal system and small streams in Newark. The large streams running through the city are generally in considerable flood plains, therefore, the streams may rise, however, except for several locations along the Christina, they are typically within parkland or designated floodplains, which is an appropriate location for flood storage. Local control over large stream flooding is limited in that upstream impacts are far greater in scale than what the city system contributes.
Pollutants are present in all of the rainwater that enters our stormwater system and ultimately our streams, rivers and oceans. Runoff from rain events carries pollutants from roadways, streets, lawns and parking lots to our stream and rivers. Minimizing or eliminating these pollutants is a top priority for the stormwater management program in the City. The City of Newark’s NPDES Phase II Permit deals largely with Water Quality. Permit compliance has been and will continue to be a major driver of stormwater quality initiatives undertaken in the City of Newark.