You can’t miss the water pooling on city streets — even manhole covers being pushed out of place by it.

City Hall’s manager of environmental services and public utilities says it’s simply a matter of volume.

Scott Tam acknowledges that the fast melt makes some streets look like they’re submerged in water.

“It is getting its way to the catch basins,” he says. “We’re verifying catch basins, storm systems, just to make sure there’s no obstructions and that they’re flowing.  So yeah, there’s just a lot of water surcharging our system.”

Tam reiterates that the drainage system is working. It’s just having difficulty handling the sheer volume.

“It’s just a lot of water at once and it’s just that the system’s having a hard time just keeping up with all that water in one load kind of thing or one shot.”

What about when the system gets so overwhelmed, manhole covers start lifting? No big deal, says Tam. “It gives the system a little bit of time too to catch up.  So sometimes, you might see it having an issue, and then all of a sudden it’s gone within a little bit because of whatever obstruction of if it just takes time for the system to catch up, it just clears itself out.”

Like snow removal crews urging you to be patient, Tam’s workers are asking the same thing about the water on your street.

“If it’s an emergency, let the city know so we can try to address the priority areas.  It’s happening across town, so we’re trying to get across as much as we can.  We’re just asking for patience.”