What is Stormwater?

Stormwater is rainfall, snowmelt, or any precipitation, that is not absorbed into the soil. It runs off rooftops, over sidewalks, down street curbs and across parking lots, eventually entering our local streams, Woodin and Mill Creeks.

Stormwater run-off is highly regulated by the Washington State Department of Ecology (ECY).  

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Managing Stormwater Run-Off

The city's stormwater drainage system is the managed infrastructure that collects, detains and treats stormwater run-off.

The system is designed to ensure that stormwater run-off does not contain pollutants when it reaches local streams in compliance with with strict ECY regulations.

The stormwater drainage utility, established in 2000, provides revenue to meet ongoing and expanding ECY / NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) requirements for managing stormwater run-off.   View the many components of the system below and view the city's NPDES report.

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Publicly Owned Stormwater Facilities
The city owns and is responsible for maintaining over 90 stormwater facilities, like the pond pictured above. Maintenance includes litter pick-up, mowing, weed eating and tree removal.

Inspection of Privately Owned Facilities
 As required by the WA Department of Ecology (ECY), the city inspects all private stormwater facilities (like the swale pictured above) and works with owners to ensure the facilities are in compliance with ECY regulations.

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Catch Basins & Curb Inlets
There are over 1,800 catch basins and curb inlets within the city's stormwater drainage system. Per current DOE requirements, each is inspected every 2 years.  

Infrastructure Design & Construction
The City is responsible for the design and construction of the stormwater infrastructure. Like sewer and water infrastructure, most components are located below the surface.  There are over 31 miles of conveyance pipe and culverts.

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Erosion Control
The city regularly conducts inspections to ensure that erosion control practices are appropriate and in compliance with DOE regulations.

Stormwater Facility Maintenance
Aging stormwater facilities may require reconstruction (removing trees and silt and replanting grasses) in order to provide the elements necessary to filter and treat water before it is released into our waterways.

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Investigating Illicit Discharge
Illicit discharge is the release of contaminants into the stormwater system. The city is required to investigate and report incidents involving illicit discharge.

Stormwater Outfalls
There are over 150 outfalls into Mill and Woodin Creeks that the City is required to map and inspect.

You Play an Important Role

Residents and businesses play an important role in protecting our streams and rivers.  See our Stormwater Education page for information on how everyday activities affect our surrounding waterways and the steps you can take to minimize harmful impacts.