Stormwater Master Plan Update


Update: On September 28, 2020, a public hearing before the City Council will be held to receive testimony regarding proposed amendments to Salem’s Stormwater Master Plan. Please visit for more information regarding the hearing.

The City’s Stormwater Master Plan contains goals, objectives, and policies that guide how Salem can address challenges with stormwater runoff. Computer modeling has helped identify problem areas and provide recommendations in the plan to reduce flooding risks and other impacts.

The current plan was adopted by City Council in 2000. Since then, Salem’s population has grown, our urban landscape has been altered, and urban stormwater management practices have improved. For these reasons, the City has embarked on a long-term, multi-phase project to update Salem’s Stormwater Master Plan.

Salem’s approach to stormwater master planning

The Stormwater Master Plan will not be updated as a single effort as it was in 2000. The earliest phase of this project will establish the plan’s framework as follows:

  • Update information on the citywide planning area
  • Set comprehensive goals and policies
  • Identify the information needs for individual stormwater drainage basins
  • Determine hydraulic and hydrologic modeling methods

This framework will set the foundation for individual stormwater drainage basin plans that will be developed over time.  The first update of the Stormwater Master Plan that will be submitted to Council will contain the results of three new basin plans:

  • Battle Creek
  • Pringle Creek
  • Mill Creek 

The Stormwater Master Plan will then be updated as new basin plans are completed. Once this process has finished, the plans can be reviewed and updated as needed.

​The Stormwater Master Plan includes the following elements:

Introduction and background

Includes a description of the planning area, a review of stormwater regulations, a brief history of flooding and stormwater master planning in Salem, and an inventory of stormwater facilities.

Comprehensive goals and policies

Goals and policies are organized under categories such as Capital Improvement Planning, Stormwater Quantity and Quality, and Flood Risk Reduction. The goals and policies apply citywide and are designed to guide decisions regarding stormwater programs and projects.

Stormwater facilities plan

This identifies future stormwater capital projects necessary to support the land uses designated in Salem’s Comprehensive Plan. The projects are derived from the basin plans and include estimates of costs and recommended timeframes for construction.

Financial plan

Describes the main sources of funding for stormwater services and provides a forecast of operating and capital project budgets.

Basin plans

The Stormwater Master Plan includes summaries of nine basin plans, with the newly completed basin plans serving as technical supplements to the master plan. Each basin plan describes the basin, summarizes modeling methodologies, and identifies facilities needed to accommodate current conditions and future growth. Facilities specified in each basin plan are collectively compiled in the Stormwater Facilities Plan.

Supporting information

Studies and reports used to develop the Stormwater Master Plan are referenced. Appendices are provided that contain modeling and basin planning methodologies, rainfall analysis, and other key supporting information used to produce the Stormwater Master Plan.

The 2000 Stormwater Master Plan evaluated 12 stormwater drainage basins, but concluded additional stormwater infrastructure was not required to accommodate current and future growth in three basins—Lower Claggett Creek, Pettijohn Laurel Creek, and Willamette Slough basins—a conclusion that will be carried forward in the updated Stormwater Master Plan.

Draft basin plans for Battle Creek, Mill Creek, and Pringle Creek have been completed. The order of progression for completing plans for the remaining six basins listed below.

  • Glenn Gibson Basin
  • West Bank Basin (Willamette River)
  • Upper Claggett Creek Basin
  • Croisan Creek Basin
  • Little Pudding Basin
  • East Bank Basin (Willamette River)

​Virtual Open House was held from July 20-August 7. Staff received valuable input from community partners regarding the proposed updates to the Stormwater Master Plan. The comment period for the open house has ended but the open house can still be viewed by clicking on the link provided below. Comments and questions are still encouraged, please call 503-588-6211 or email Robert Chandler at [email protected].

Stormwater Master Plan Virtual Open House

Battle Creek Basin Plan Final-September 20199/9/202031257 KB
Mill Creek Basin Plan Final-September 20199/9/202023002 KB
Pringle Creek Basin Plan Final-September 20199/9/202036086 KB
Stormwater Master Plan Final-September 20209/9/202028544 KB
FAQ Stormwater Master Plan9/2/2020273 KB

Contact us

Robert ChandlerAssistant DirectorPublic Works Department