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Storm and Surface Water Drainage Utilities

This page provides examples of local government stormwater and surface water drainage utility provisions in Washington State.


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.

Examples of Local Programs and Codes


  • Bellingham Surface and Stormwater Utility – Provides links to pages on stormwater utility billing, storm and surface water utility funding, storm and surface water system maintenance, stormwater management program, and stormwater projects.
  • Marysville Surface Water Management – Identifies the duties and responsibilities of stormwater management and includes links to information on the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) II Permit, surface water utility billing, Allen/Quilceda Watershed Action Team, public education and outreach, and water quality in the Quilceda/Allen Watershed.
  • Redmond Stormwater Utility – Provides information on the three phases of the City’s stormwater management plan (planning, development, and maintenance), in addition to stormwater FAQs, the stormwater comprehensive plan, stormwater facilities information, and more.
  • 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.
  • Shelton Stormwater – Information and documents pertaining to NPDES permitting, rates and fees, car washing, FAQs, and worksheets for compliance with Ecology’s 2019 Stormwater Management Manual.
  • Spokane Valley Stormwater – Provides general information on stormwater management, the NPDES permit, funding, links to city code regulations and the Spokane County regional stormwater manual, and briefly discusses swales and history of stormwater.
  • Walla Walla Stormwater – Includes links to best management practices, FAQs, permits and regulations, rates, and guidance to prevent stormwater pollution.


  • Douglas County Stormwater Utility – Describes the purpose, program elements, and services of the stormwater utility, and includes planning documents and FAQ resources for residents.
  • Island County Clean Water Utility – Links to program information, rates and credits, funding for surface water and ground water programs, and relevant ordinances. The majority of this utility’s funding goes toward stormwater management.
  • San Juan County Stormwater – A division of the Clean Water Utility. Provides information on applying for a stormwater permit.
  • Spokane County Stormwater Utility – Extensive resources pertaining to stormwater management carried out by the county Public Works Department, including community informational resources, fees, water quality regulations, and permits.
    • Code Ch. 9.70Charges for Stormwater Management Services and Benefits
  • Thurston County Stormwater Utility – Subject links include Stormwater Management Program, pet waste & home tips, report spills/dumping, stormwater utility services, utility rates and credits, 2022 drainage manual, and SSWAB advisory board.
  • Yakima County Stormwater Management – Annual reports, stormwater manuals and site plan checklist, and information on the Yakima Regional Stormwater Group interlocal agreement.

Examples of Residential Stormwater Management Techniques

  • Kirkland Low Impact Development – Provides low impact development (LID) elements for stormwater management of new development and redevelopment projects.
  • Bothell: Bioswale Tip Sheet – Describes the environmentally friendly impacts of bioswales, which includes absorbing and slowing the flow of runoff.

Recommended Resources

Last Modified: February 23, 2024