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Project News

The Final Environmental Impact Report was approved by Sacramento City Council on Tuesday, October 9.

Mckinley water vault

Older parts of Sacramento use a combined sewer system to convey wastewater.  A combined sewer system uses one pipe to convey domestic wastewater, commercial and industrial wastewater and surface runoff in a single pipe to the wastewater treatment plant. Heavy to moderate storms often lead to combined wastewater outflows from the pipes onto the street and private property in the McKinley Park and East Sacramento areas.

The Department of Utilities is working on the McKinley Water Vault. It’s a project to reduce outflows and flooding in the combined sewer system. The Vault will not only bring flood reduction to the community but also offer improvements for McKinley Park through Utilities’ partnership with the Department of Parks & Recreation.

The McKinley Water Vault is essentially a large cistern or storage facility that will reduce wastewater outflows and flooding during a large storm event then it will slowly feed the wastewater into the combined sewer system at a rate that’s sustainable as the storm subsides.

It’s a big project. It’s an important project. And, it will take a few years to build which will cause disruptions in the park and community. When done, the project area will be enhanced to better than it is today with a new soccer field and street and park flooding will be significantly reduced.

Have a question or comment? Email us at or call (916) 808-5545.

Check out this video that explains how the McKinley Water Vault works.

Check out this video that explains how the Combined Sewer System works.

Park Enhancements

As part of the McKinley Water Vault project mitigation, the Department of Utilities is collaborating with the City's Parks and Recreation Department on direction for park enhancements. The city has also coordinated with stakeholders and the public on feedback and input throughout the project about the type of enhancements they want to experience in the park.

As part of the Vault initial outreach process in fall 2016, we held stakeholder interviews with key organizations and community leaders. The project team received feedback that the baseball field is rarely used for baseball but much more often for youth soccer. We also received feedback about the need for new restrooms, irrigation fixes and improving the jogging/walking path.  The interviewees included neighborhood organizations, business associations, fitness groups and real estate representatives.

During the September 20, 2017 McKinley Water Vault public meeting, we encouraged attendees to fill out comment cards and suggest park enhancement ideas. We heard from attendees they are interested in more trees, new bathrooms, an improved track, more BBQs, fixed drainage issues and replacing the baseball field with a multi-purpose field where youth

soccer can be played, and the field could also accommodate community events, concerts in the park, park celebrations, festivals or other events requiring the open turf area.

Replacement of the baseball field with a soccer field will ultimately be decided by the parks department. If you have questions or want to provide input about the park enhancements, please reach out to and emails will be sent to the parks department.

Anticipated park enhancements may include:

  • Jogging path improvements

  • New restrooms

  • New corporate picnic area tables, benches and BBQ pits

  • New shade structures

  • Estimated 60+ trees

  • New landscaping

Review park enhancement FAQs.

Review the park enhancement renderings. 

McKinley Water Vault Project Quick Look


Project Timeline

Every engineering project consists of multiple phases from pre-design to design to construction. We began public outreach during pre-design so the East Sacramento community is aware and part of the project from the beginning. During pre-design, we evaluated project specifics like the size, cost and efficiency of the McKinley Water Vault.