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Drainage and Improvement Requirements

Dumping is prohibited in the city's flood control system. Blockages in the city's flood control system could result in major flood damage. The City of East Palo Alto performs cleaning and maintenance activities on the drainage channels and pipes in city easements and rights of way in accordance with an established schedule and other standard operating procedures. Residents are encouraged to assist in maintaining the drainage in their areas by removing or reporting obstructions (such as shopping carts, leaves, debris, trash, etc.). Keeping drainage channels free of obstructions reduces flooding in the event of heavy rains. By way of city ordinance, it is illegal to dump trash, leaves, landscape debris, paint, grease, or any other material into any portion of the city's drainage system. Such dumping can have devastating impacts on water quality in addition to causing flooding. 

To report obstructions or illegal dumping, or for questions regarding drainage system maintenance, please contact the Public Works Department at 650-853-3189. The city's regulations pertaining to drainage maintenance are located in Sections 13.12.020, 13.12.030, 13.12.070 of the East Palo Alto Municipal Code.  

Improvement Requirements

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires that if the cost of reconstruction, additions, or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building's market value, then the building must meet the same construction requirements as a new building. Substantially damaged buildings must also be brought up to the same standards. For example, a residence damaged so that the cost of repairs equals or exceeds 50% of the building's value before it was damaged must be elevated above the base flood elevation. Please contact the Building Division at 650-853-3129 for more information.