Sacramento’s Hydrology, Landscaping, and Lateral Loans

Sacramento is full of cultural treasures, museums and parks. It has also experienced significant, sometimes devastating, flooding. With the city being particularly susceptible to sewer damages, overflows and landscaping challenges, a program to assist homeowners is expected to be a cost-effective program for neighborhoods within the city. The Sacramento Area Sewer District’s Upper Lateral Loan Program has saved homeowner’s hundreds of dollars with low-interest loans of up to $15,000. The loan is intended for the repair or replacement of upper laterals, as this can be an expensive process. The loans must be paid back within 5 years and will have qualifying, interest free advantages.  The city is also progressing toward the improvement of levees along the rivers to reduce the historical flooding of many communities.  Improvements to the levee system are scheduled to be completed before 2025. In California, many cities state-wide are analyzing the effects of flooding and other land-disturbing activities such as grading, excavation, and trenching for utility and infrastructure installation increase the potential for soil erosion and sedimentation in runoff, which substantially increases during a rain event. Additionally, construction equipment also has the potential to leak polluting materials, including oil and gasoline.  Improper use of fuels, oils, and other construction-related hazardous materials, poses a threat to surface or groundwater quality. Through storm water runoff, these sediments and contaminants may be transported to the Sacramento River and its downstream drainage and water bodies.

Interesting fact: currently, there is a proposal to build two underground 35-mile and 40-foot wide tunnels to divert the Sacramento River and maximize water transport from the San Francisco Bay Delta to the southwest San Joaquin Valley. The Sacramento River constitutes 80 percent of the freshwater flow into the San Francisco Bay Delta. The construction and operation of the proposed tunnels are estimated to cost over $50 billion.


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