Storm Water Division
2023 Flood Mitigation
To report flooding, please call our emergency phone number: 844-AF-Hello or 844-234-3556
Flood mitigation efforts have been largely successful throughout the city in May. Clearing debris has allowed water to flow freely through the AF River channel at pinch points. Current flooding issues are in the boat harbor area near Utah Lake. 100 W from 1100 S to the harbor is currently closed. Floodwaters have compromised the roadway, making it unsafe for vehicles to travel on. It is predicted that high water levels will remain for the first few week of June. After the water level recedes, the damage will be assessed and plans for repair will be made. Please avoid the Boat Harbor area at this time. The Lindon Marina is currently open for usage.
2023 Flood Preparations
2022-2023 snowpack has been record breaking. With the snow melt anticipated in the spring, American Fork City is actively working to minimize the risks to our community by preparing for potential flooding. The snow melt runs through the American Fork River entering a weir system at the base of American Fork Canyon were it flows through American Fork City and discharges into Utah Lake. Storm water ditches that run along the roadways are for rain water but not related to spring runoff.
The AF Sewer and Storm Water Division is charged with keeping the weir free of obstructions as well as ensuring snow melt makes its way down five miles of river from the golf course, through the city and down to Utah Lake. Crews walk the entire river at the end of winter and in spring to keep a close eye on the river during thaw season.
image: Weir at base of American Fork Canyon
Fast snow melt results in a surge of water which captures debris, clogging the river, especially at narrow underpasses. There are several choke points where branches and leaves tend to accumulate throughout the year and require continuous attention. The Sewer and Storm Water team both manually and with heavy equipment alleviate these flooding concerns.
image: American Fork River choke points in city limits
This winter, crews initiated removal of overgrown vegetation in the river path along 100 West by the boat harbor. Significant work was done clearing the channel, which had become very overgrown. Annual vegetation management will be used moving forward to restrict new trees from regrowing and taking over the channel again.
image: before river channel cleanup
image: after river channel cleanup
In February, our crews performed a river inspection at the base of American Fork Canyon where the AF River flows through the city to clear logs and debris that collect at the weir and basin before they enter the river. Along with environmental debris, trash and illegal dumping also cause obstructions. Household items such as couches and mattresses are often found in the river bed and require a coordinated effort to dispose of these items properly. This year, staff encountered enough bagged grass to fill a two-ton truck bed.
Due to the amazing efforts of the the Sewer and Storm Water Division team, there have been no major backups in the City and we are ready for the next rapid water event.
In March, Mayor Frost hosted and held an emergency preparation meeting with leaders from Utah County, surrounding cities, fire departments, law enforcement agencies including County Sheriffs and Highway Patrol, the forest service, irrigation and water distribution entities. The topic was emergency planning for the upcoming water runoff season. Specifically, Mayor Frost has had conversations with the Utah County Commissioner Gordon to address any issues we can in advance to help prepare for the upcoming runoff. Commissioner Gordon has pledged to assist with County resources those items that may be needed.
At the State level, Governor Cox has warned of flooding concerns statewide and has issued an Executive Order for flood preparedness. The State has evaluated our snowpack in this area and specifically the water content contained in the upper elevations. They have expressed concern if temperatures rise quickly in the spring, but if the temperature remain moderate, they feel the runoff may be handled without sever flooding and damage. Much will depend on the conditions we have in late May and early June. Our preparations now are based on the anticipation of extremely high runoff due to higher temperatures.
Locally, Fire & Rescue, Police and Public Works Departments are coordinating efforts to ensure problematic areas are regularly monitored and an emergency response effort can be easily deployed. Crews will stage k-rail/jersey barriers in problematic areas of the American Fork River to help divert water in the event of flooding. Sandbags will be provided on a limited basis for residents in the spring at the Public Work lot at 275 E 200 N.
What You Can Do To Prepare
Historically, spring runoff begins mid-May. However, the timing and volume of runoff strongly depends on the weather. You can use the time now, before temperatures rise in the mountains creating snowmelt, to get ready.
- Find out what your flood risk is. Check the FEMA Flood Map. (This map shows the potential for snowmelt flooding along the AF River, and flood potential in the event of severe rain.)
- If needed, purchase flood insurance for your home, business or rental.
- Prepare with sandbags.
- Learn sandbagging techniques here
- Sign up for AF Notify to receive text/email emergency alerts
- Stay up to date on the snowpack here
- Learn how to be ready for a flood at ready.gov/floods
- Download the AF Emergency Preparedness Manual here
- Tips for residents to prepare themselves can be found at https://beready.utah.gov/Utah-hazards/flood/.
Storm Water Division
American Fork city is anxious to preserve the natural resources that make it beautiful. Because our ditches and gutters drain into a storm drain system that feeds our wetlands and Utah Lake, it is important that we are vigilant in making certain that toxins or other pollutants do not find their way into this system. If you find or witness the dumping of suspicious material into a ditch or other storm drain system source, please call and report it to our hotline.
Illicit Discharge Resources
- Illicit Discharge Hotline (Available 24 Hours a Day): 801-404-7167
- Report Illicit Discharge Online (Available 24 Hours a Day)
About Storm Water
Storm water is water from rain, snow, sleet, or hail that flows across the ground and pavement or when snow and ice melt. The water seeps into the ground or drains into what we call the storm drain system. These are the drains you see at street corners, catch basins, detention/retention basins, irrigation canals, creeks and the American Fork River.
Collectively, the draining water is called storm water runoff and is a concern in all areas of American Fork including residential, commercial, industrial and roadway areas of unincorporated portions of our city.
Why it Matters
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), 40% of our nation’s waterways remain polluted and storm water runoff is a leading source.
Storm water pollution can occur when it rains, or as oil, salt, litter, soil, fertilizer and pesticides are washed into nearby street drains. Most of these drains empty directly into the streams and rivers that we use for fishing, swimming and boating, and result in unusable and polluted waterways.
What You Can Do To Help
- Clean up spills immediately
- Fertilize only your yard, not your driveway or sidewalk
- Wash you car on the lawn or at a commercial car wash
- Sweep your driveway and sidewalk, then throw the debris away in a trash can
- Do not hose down your driveway and sidewalk
- Dispose of paint, pesticides, solvents, and batteries appropriately
- Compost yard waste such as grass clippings, tree trimmings, and leaves
- Do not sweep or blow leaves and yard waste into gutters or storm drains
- If you see a drain that is clogged with debris, clean it out