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Storm and Surface Water Drainage Utilities

Utilities provide stormwater services to the community through user fees. The activities vary, but include ongoing operation and maintenance of publicly owned stormwater facilities, drainage basin planning, education and outreach, water quality programs, monitoring, and capital improvement projects. A few county and city stormwater utilities have been selected as examples in this page. Their programs are illustrated through website links, code provisions and regulations governing the operation of the utility.

This page is part of a series of MRSC pages on Storm and Surface Water Management.


Program Illustrations and Code Provisions

Cities

  • Bellingham Surface and Stormwater Utility - Provides links to pages on stormwater utility billing (rates, account information and payment options), storm and surface water utility funding (how fees are used and other funding sources), storm and surface water system maintenance (reducing stormwater pollution to our streams, lakes and bay), stormwater management program (compliance with the city's mandated, national stormwater permit), and stormwater projects (reducing stormwater pollution to our streams, lakes and bay)
    • Bellingham Municipal Code Ch. 15.16 - Surface and Storm Water Utility
  • Longview Stormwater Division - Provides links to monitoring plan, stormwater manual, maintenance agreement, rates, annual reports, citizen information, and a link to a public outreach page, Cleanstormwater.org
    • Longview Municipal Code Ch. 15.80 - Stormwater Utility
  • Marysville Surface Water Management - Provides information on the duties and responsibilities of stormwater management, includes links to NPDES II Permit, surface water billing FAQ, pet waste management, Allen/Quilceda Watershed Action Team, public education and outreach, and information on water quality in the Quilceda/Allen Watershed
    • Marysville Municipal Code Ch. 14.19 - Surface Water Utility
  • Redmond Stormwater Utility - The City of Redmond, through its NPDES Municipal Permit, is responsible for ensuring proper maintenance and operation of all public and private stormwater systems within the city. These include 323 miles of pipes, 20,000 catch basins and manholes, 314 vaults, 182 bioswales, 68 miles of streams, and 261 ponds throughout the city.
    • Redmond Municipal Code Ch. 13.18 - Stormwater Management Utility
  • Richland Stormwater Utility - Informs residents about the importance of preventing stormwater pollution from entering waterways, and lets them know what the city is doing to reduce stormwater pollution and meet new state and federal stormwater regulations.
    • Richland Municipal Code Ch. 16.04 - Stormwater - General Provisions, see Creation of stormwater utility - Authority
  • Shelton Stormwater - Two full-time employees maintain miles of underground pipe, storm drains, and stormwater ponds that carry stormwater runoff from roads and rooftops to our streams, Oakland Bay and Henderson Inlet. We monitor our waters, and initiate new ways to protect them through our education and outreach programs, technical assistance, and new regulations
    • Shelton Municipal Code Title 13 - Stormwater
  • Snohomish Stormwater - Provides links to rates, stormwater management programs, and resources
    • Snohomish Municipal Code Ch. 15.13 - Stormwater Utility
  • Spokane Valley Stormwater Utility - Provides general information on stormwater management, the NPDES permit, funding, links to city code regulations and the Spokane County regional stormwater manual, briefly discusses swales and history of stormwater.
  • Sumner Stormwater Management Program - Provides explanation of stormwater and citizen education programs
    • Sumner Municipal Code Ch. 13.32 - Storm Drainage Utility
  • Walla Walla Stormwater Utility - Includes links to best management practices, FAQs, permits and regulations, rates, stormwater management documents, stormwater pollutants
    • Walla Walla Municipal Code Ch. 13.06 - Stormwater Management Utility – Regulations and Rates

Counties

  • Douglas County Greater East Wenatchee Storm Water Utility - Includes fee calculations, benefits of the utility, and information about the Wenatchee Valley Stormwater Technical Advisory Committee
    • Douglas County Code Ch. 19.40 - Surface and Stormwater Management Utility Code
  • Island County Clean Water Utility - On December 20, 2010 the Board of Island County Commissioners adopted the Clean Water Utility to address concerns related to water quantity and quality in Island County. Through the utility, the county will collect fees from property owners to fund specific surface water and ground water programs. Lists programs the fees will fund, provides link to documents, and shows maps.
  • San Juan County Stormwater Utility - Provides mission, explanation as to why the utility was created
    • San Juan County Code Ch. 13.04 - Stormwater Utility
  • Skagit County Drainage Utility - Provides explanation of why there was a need for a draining utility to fund projects beyond those related to road funds, what the funds can be used for, and provides information on areas served and costs.
    • Skagit County Code Ch. 12.19 - Drainage Utility
  • Spokane County Stormwater Utility
    • Spokane County Code Ch. 9.70 - Charges for Stormwater Management Services and Benefits
  • Thurston County Storm and Surface Water Utility - Subject links include: stormwater utility, managing stormwater runoff, maintain facilities. reduce stormwater pollution, request help with drainage, report spills/dumping, stormwater utility services, utility rates and credits, NPDES maps & publications, 2009 drainage manual, and SSWAB advisory board
  • Yakima County Regional Stormwater Working Group - Includes Yakima, Yakima County, and Sunnyside; provides meeting agendas and minutes.

Recommended Resources

  • An Internet Guide to Financing Stormwater Management - Developed by the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in cooperation with the Watershed Management Institute, Inc.
  • Stormwater 101 (2011) - Prepared by FCS Group for the Joint Transportation Committee; provides an overview of the regulatory environment and funding

Last Modified: August 26, 2019