Pensacola is an old city and most of our neighborhoods were developed long before there were any rules or facilities to control stormwater runoff.
Stormwater is rainwater that does not seep into the ground after a rainfall. It drains off your property, picking up fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, oil, pet waste, and many other contaminants, and carrying them into our storm drains. Most of our storm drains empty into Bayou Texar, Bayou Chico, Pensacola Bay, or Escambia Bay.
The City of Pensacola’s yearly rainfall totals, high groundwater table, tidal influx, and minimal gradient create many difficulties in the design and construction of stormwater solutions. Even so, the Engineering and Construction Services Division of Public Works and Facilities is committed to finding practical and feasible solutions to the flooding problems exacerbated by urbanization.
To this end, a City-wide Stormwater Master Plan was created in 2019. This Stormwater Master Plan was created using the latest version of a stormwater modeling software known as ICPR4. This software is a GIS-based product which performs in-depth hydrologic and hydraulic calculations to geographically identify and quantify flooding problems. In addition, within the Stormwater Master Plan are conceptual solutions to the ten worst flooding problems in the City. This is a powerful resource which the City will utilize moving forward as the primary basis for planning and budgeting of stormwater quantity projects. This City-wide Stormwater Master Plan can be accessed by clicking on the following link: Stormwater Master Plan - City of Pensacola
Over the years, contaminated stormwater has contributed to a steady deterioration of Bayou Texar and Bayou Chico and threatens the quality of the other bodies of water. Stormwater contamination deposits toxic materials in Bayou Texar, increases turbidity and reduces oxygen, which, on occasions, results in fish deaths during the heat of summer.
These conditions reduce the recreational accessibility of the bayou as well as reducing the quality of water and aquatic life.