The Storm Drain Detectives program is an educational effort that hopes to provide monthly water quality measurements and occasional toxicity tests that can help the community understand Lodi’s storm drain impact on the Mokelumne River. The Storm Drain Detectives will bring the condition of Lodi’s waterways and the effects that Lodi’s storm drains have on the river to the attention of the City and the public.

Lodi’s Storm Drains & the Community

In Lodi’s storm system, all the rain water and yard run-off water on the street flows to a storm drain. In general, the storm drains south of Lockeford Street flow to the WID canal, and the storm drains north of Lockeford Street flow to the Mokelumne River and Lodi Lake. One major exception is the eastern portion of the city, east of Central Avenue and north of Kettleman Lane, which also drains to the river.

Storm Drain Versus Home Drains

A storm drain is very different from the drains inside a home. Any water that leaves your house through a kitchen or bathroom drain flows to a sewage treatment facility. At a sewage treatment facility, the water undergoes a cleaning process. Water that flows down a storm drain does not make its way to a water treatment facility. Instead, whatever flows down a storm drain flows directly to a river, canal, lake, or other body of water. 

That is where the Storm Drain Detectives come into the picture. They want to help to determine if what is flowing off of the streets of Lodi is harming the Mokelumne River and Lodi Lake.

Unwanted Substances

Anything that goes into a storm drain will probably find its way to the river. Unfortunately, water is not the only thing that is flowing into rivers from storm drains. Things that also might enter a storm drain include: 

  • Chemicals
  • Detergents
  • Fertilizers
  • Litter
  • Oil
  • Pesticides
  • Yard Waste

These unwanted substances can have a negative effect on a river. Dissolved oxygen, turbidity, temperature, pH, conductivity, and toxicity are all qualities of water that can be changed in the presence of certain substances. 

If the delicate balance between these qualities is disturbed in a river environment, many animals and plants are put at risk. If any part of a river ecosystem fails due to the presence of unwanted pollutants in the water, the entire river environment is put in danger. If a river reaches such a point, then its waters and wildlife will be harmed and it may be closed to public access.

Storm Drain Detectives’ Job

In Lodi, the Storm Drain Detectives’ job is to monitor the Mokelumne River’s quality and help find out if our storm drains are harming the river. Through programs such as the Storm Drain Detectives and public awareness, hopefully the Mokelumne River will always be a beautiful place for our community to enjoy. Help the river out now by watching what you and your neighbors put down our storm drains!

Blue & White Fish Symbol

These are Lodi city storm drains.  Many drains in Lodi have marked with the blue and white fish symbol that reads: "No Dumping Drains to River."  These signs are reminders that anything that flows into a storm drain will find its way to the Mokelumne River.

No Dumping Drains to River
Curb Storm Drain
Storm Drain

View additional images of storm drains in the City of Lodi.