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Paradise Creek Water Quality and Community Enhancement project in National City

National City, CA, USA
National City
In Collaboration With
The San Diego Climate Collaborative


5 Million USD

Project Status

In Progress/Under Construction since 2021

At a Glance

This project in National City, CA will treat and direct storm water runoff along Paradise Valley Rd through a biofiltration detention basin. Mainly, a portion of the water coming from the creek are going to be collected into a biofiltration detention basin and after direct the filtrated water to the creek.

Problem Addressed

Flooding. The existing creek does not have the capacity to efficiently convey the 100-year storm event without resulting in potential flood damage or hazard to over 30 properties within the DAC. The Project will increase the capacity of the creek and will add an inlet to efficiently convey the 100-year peak flow. The creek and detention basin will control the storm water runoff flow, further reducing potential flooding risks.

Poor Surface Water Quality. The Project will include a bioswale and a dry extended detention basin in order to improve surface water quality and flood conveyance. The bioswale creek will filter out small levels of pollutants and the dry extended detention basin will provide flow-through treatment. It will detain storm water for an extended period to allow for sedimentation. Some dissolved pollutants will be removed via biofiltration, uptake by vegetation, and/or through infiltration.

Beautification of the area. The Project will help preserve and restore the existing open space while providing an aesthetically pleasing solution for the community.

Improvement of the deteriorated channel infrastructure. The Project will improve the deteriorated channel infrastructure increasing the channel stability and increase volume of water the channel can support, which will reduce flooding and alleviate resident concerns about flood issues

Solution(s) Used

City staff worked with the community to complete the planning phase of this project. We had several Community Meetings, to which the City’s residents, including residents living in the Project area and the Transportation & Storm Water Department and Watershed Planning team of Local Project Partner City of San Diego were invited. City staff and the Consultant also coordinated the neighborhood clean-up event where teams walked along the channel and picked up litter. The purpose of this event was to inform and educate the public about the importance of the water resources.

During these events, City staff engaged with the community, discussing the importance of the Project while asking questions and seeking feedback. It should be noted that, during these events, the community reacted very positively, since they understood that the Project will create several benefits including beautification of the area, improvement of the deteriorated channel infrastructure and increased stability and volume of water the channel can support in order to reduce resident concerns about flooding issues.


  1. The Project’s improvements are very important to the community, since, in the next decade, larger and more intense storm events are expected, which would cause significant damages
  2. The main purpose of the Project, therefore, is to address these community’s concerns through increased infiltration and groundwater recharge and reduced flooding.
  3. Project will create several benefits, such as area beautification, pollution reduction, creation of an open space, improvement of the deteriorated channel infrastructure
  4. Channel improvements will result in the removal of 16 single-family homes within the DAC area from the FEMA SFHA, saving each homeowner a minimum of $1,500 per year in flood insurance.

Lessons Learned

  1. The activities and community outreach conducted by staff were a necessary component in building trust with the community and gaining valuable feedback on how to best implement the project.
  2. For future activities, the City will consider community outreach strategies to ensure that there is community support for the project in order to clearly understand the community needs.

Something Unique

This project helped the City to create a strong partnership with the local community. Throughout this process, the community learned about the importance of participating in community meetings and to provide valuable opinions and feedback to City staff.

Who Should Consider?

We really think that approach should be considered by all of the jurisdictions that want to create a strong community support and a successful project.

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