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Stormwater Utility

Lions Park

What is a Stormwater Utility?
A stormwater utility allows for the implementation of an effective stormwater program, provides a dedicated funding source, funds mandated state and federal programs, provides an equitable fee schedule to implement programs, and frees up general fund revenue currently directed towards stormwater system maintenance for other capital improvements. A stormwater utility operates similarly to an electric, water, or wastewater utility. In general, properties within cities pay for stormwater management services based on the amount of runoff generated from each property. Residents and businesses are then charged a utility fee for the services provided based on the amount of impervious surface on their property.

Stormwater utilities fund stormwater system cleaning, stormwater system televising, street sweeping, existing infrastructure repairs, ditch grading and mowing, regional detention facility maintenance, new stormwater system infrastructure construction, hazardous sump pump discharge abatement programs, rain barrel reimbursement programs, rain garden reimbursement programs, green infrastructure incentives for new development, stream and rain gauge monitoring, creek maintenance, water quality public education and involvement efforts, erosion control plan review and site inspections and developing and following through on stormwater master plans. Not all activities may be necessary for the City; however, Public Works & Engineering staff will be working to identify and implement those programs and activities which best equip us to meet our compliance obligations.

Stormwater Utility Planning and Rate Formation
The City was preparing to comply with the mandates of the Federal Clean Water Act (Act) since January 2013 when the City received a letter from the State of Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) informing the City of the need for the City to obtain a municipal National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit by 2019.   In support of that mandate, DOE awarded the City a grant to develop a Stormwater Plan and Utility Rate Structure to support the activities required by the NPDES permit including education, elimination of illicit discharges, stormwater system operation and maintenance, and creation of regional facilities where required. 

On September 25, 2018, City Council established a stormwater utility and adopted supporting rates. The current monthly charge for a single family residential unit is $9.75 and is based on an average amount of impervious surfaces for residential lots. Businesses and non-residential customers will be charged based on the equivalent amount of impervious areas on their lot(s). The City has implemented the state mandated Stormwater Utility effective January 1st, 2019. Some businesses and residences may be candidates for a $2.79 per month credit if they have already installed engineered stormwater systems on their premises. Customers may apply for the credit by completing this Stormwater Utility Credit Application Form. Documents related to the NPDES permit and rollout of the City Stormwater Utility are located below in the Document Center. 

Several eastern State of Washington communities have adopted stormwater utilities including: Yakima,  Clarkston/Asotin,  Moses Lake, Spokane Valley, Ellensburg, Liberty Lake, West Richland, Yakima County, Sunnyside, Union Gap, Walla Walla, Colfax, Pullman, Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick.


Stormwater Utility
Resources

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Permit 1 documents
CAT:316
Download File
Letter from Department of Ecology informing us of need to obtain NPDES Permit.
document date 06-05-2018
file:319
Plan 4 documents
CAT:317
Download File
A zip file containing the full final version of the 2021 Stormwater Management Plan that was adopted by Resolution.
document date 03-04-2021
file:625
Download File
Supporting documents for the Annual Report can be found on PARIS under permit # WAR308236.
document date 03-03-2021
file:626
Download File
Powerpoint presentation on operational code needed for implementation of the Stormwater Utility to satisfy the requirements of the NPDES Phase II/MS4 permit.
document date 09-25-2018
file:366
Download File
Gap Analysis
document date 09-11-2018
file:362
Rates & Finances 4 documents
CAT:318
Download File
Information regarding stormwater utility rates and credit program.
document date 02-18-2021
file:617
Download File
Application to receive credits on your stormwater utility bill.
document date 02-18-2021
file:618
Download File
Resolution No. 18-032 that set the original rates for the stormwater utility. NOTE: These rates may be superseded by more recent fee schedules.
document date 09-25-2018
file:624
Download File
A series of documents outlining the stormwater utility formation process that happened in 2018 and early 2019.
document date 01-01-2018
file:623