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Green Stormwater Infrastructure
What is Green Stormwater Infrastructure?
Stormwater runoff flows untreated from street storm drains directly into local creeks and streams and ultimately to the San Francisco Bay. Runoff is made up of rainfall, excess irrigation water, and other outdoor water. Runoff collects pollutants such as motor oil, metals, pesticides, and litter as it flows across hard surfaces such as rooftops, sidewalks, driveways, and streets.

Green stormwater infrastructure is a system where stormwater runoff is slowed, infiltrated, used, and/or treated using vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage water runoff and create healthier environments.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure Has Many Benefits to the Community:
  • Improved water quality
  • Reduced flooding
  • Increased water supply
  • Improved air quality
  • Traffic calming
  • Safer pedestrian & bicycle facilities
  • Climate resiliency
  • Improved wildlife habitat
  • More healthful urban environment
  • Reduced runoff to storm sewers
  • Neighborhood beautification
  • Recreational enhancements
  • Reduced urban heat island effect

Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plan
The City of San José is hosting a public meeting to inform the community about a Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plan. For more information about the plan, please see the Green Infrastructure Plan memorandum from June 4, 2018.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plan Public Meeting
Thursday, November 15, 2018
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Roosevelt Community Center
901 E. Santa Clara St., San José
Event Flyer

Green Stormwater Infrastructure examples:
Rain Garden   Permeable pavers
Rain gardens (Bioretention areas)

Permeable pavers

Green roof Rain barrel
Green roofs Rain barrels 

What are Green Streets and Alleys?
Green streets refer to streets designed with green stormwater infrastructure features to allow rainwater flowing over buildings, streets, and parking lots to soak into the ground and be filtered by soil. This reduces the quantity of water and pollutants flowing into storm drains and local creeks.

Green Streets and Alleys Projects
The City of San José is implementing green stormwater infrastructure into public improvement projects on city streets. You can read about our projects below and check them out in our interactive map!.

Martha Gardens Green Alleys

Martha Gardens Over 35,000 square feet of deteriorated asphalt and bare soil were replaced with recycled content "green" concrete and permeable paved surface to filter stormwater along Martha Street. This site uses recycled materials and lighter colored surfaces that absorb less sunlight and lower temperatures.

This was a joint project between the State Water Board and the City of San José. The State provided $945,000 of Proposition 84 Stormwater Grant Program funds for project construction.

Park Avenue Green Streets
Park Ave Rain Garden Approximately 6,500 square feet of curbside rain gardens and 2,800 square feet of permeable pavers replaced the existing asphalt along Park Avenue between University Avenue and Sunol Street to filter stormwater from the roadways.

This was a joint project between the State Water Board and the City of San José. The State provided $859,128 of Proposition 84 Stormwater Grant Program funds for project construction and public outreach.

Chynoweth Avenue Green Streets
Chynoweth Rain Garden The wide and paved Chynoweth Avenue roadway will be replaced with approximately 5,600 square feet of curbside rain gardens. The dirt medians were vegetated with drought tolerant plants and tree wells to absorb and filter stormwater.

This was a joint project between the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), and the City of San José. The DWR provided $2 million of funds for project planning, design, engineering, environmental documentation and construction.

Autumn Parkway Street Extension
Autumn Parkway The narrow hardscape median along Autumn Parkway was cut to allow stormwater to flow across both travel ways into rain gardens installed along the sidewalk, where the water will be filtered for pollutants.