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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 Youth, Parks and Community Enrichment.

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 multi-purpose field and street and park flooding will be significantly reduced.



Every engineering project consists of multiple phases from pre-design to construction. During these phases, we evaluate project specifics like the size, cost and efficiency of the McKinley Water Vault.


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