Slope Maintenance & Erosion Control

The Public Works Department controls erosion and runoff on public property by employing planting methods, rock barriers, and grading techniques that prevent sediment and rocks from eroding off of hillsides and onto road surfaces or other public rights-of-way. They also clean landslides and debris that erode onto roadways.


Any project, public or private, within the city limits that may potentially disturb land is required to have an erosion and runoff control plan approved by the Division prior to beginning work. These measures not only assure the safety of motorists and citizens traveling in these areas, but also help conserve our land. Homeowners are responsible for maintaining a proper drainage system on their property. In cases where a drainage system extends over several lots, it is also the homeowner's responsibility to maintain that portion which is on their property.

Drainage System Inspections

To prevent slope failures and other damage, keep all drainage devices and systems clear. When inspecting the drainage system on your property, keep the following items in mind:

  • Make sure all slopes drain properly and drains are cleared of any debris.
  • Check drains along retaining walls, removing overgrown landscaping if necessary.
  • Examine the solidity of any earth berms (top edges of slopes which keep water from flowing over the slope) on the property.
  • Measure side swales (natural drainage paths directing water around a structure); they must be at least 24 inches from any walls.

Remember, during unusually heavy rainfall, even properly managed drainage systems may not prevent the possibility of damage.

Slope Failure Warning Signs

The following are warning signs of a possible slope failure. If you note one or more of these conditions, please have your property inspected by a licensed private civil/structural or geotechnical engineer.

  • Standing water near the top or bottom of the slope.
  • Signs of erosion from water running over the slope or other earth face.
  • Signs of earth movement (bulges, or excess soil accumulating at the bottom of the slope.
  • Excess soil and/or debris resting in drainage channels or culverts.
  • Tilting of walls or fences on or near the slope.
  • Water flowing or seeping out of the slope or at the bottom of the slope.
  • Cracks or slumping of ground near the top or bottom of the slope.
  • Broken irrigation lines above or on the slope.

Properly designed drainage systems and regular preventative maintenance assist in the prevention of slope failures and flooding as well as keep your property safe. Be sure to check out your slope and drainage system regularly.