Text Size

Stormwater Utility

Lions Park

The city is scheduled to begin billing for stormwater services January 2019. Most of of the background effort associated with identifying the affected properties and including them in our billing process is complete. We are very close and expect to include these charges on our utility bills this month. Credit applications for properties with engineered stormwater systems are being processed. Engineered stormwater systems need to be certified by a professional engineer and will be reviewed by the City to see if they comply with Stormwater Standards and whether they are eligible for a credit. Some customers who are approved for the credit may not see that reflected in this month’s bill. If you are one of these customers, you will see this month’s credit applied in subsequent billings. Likewise, there are a few odd lots with impervious areas (areas that will not absorb rainfall) that will need to be billed, but that are not associated with a current City billing account. Most of these are parking lot areas. Charges for most of these lots will not appear in this month’s utility bill but will accounted for in subsequent billings.

 Thank you for your patience as we wade through this process.  We will keep you posted in the event there are any other changes to our scheduled billing.

The City has been 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 single family residential unit is $9.47 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 will begin charging rates at the beginning of 2019. Some businesses and residences may be candidates for a $2.63 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. 

Some more on stormwater utilities...

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 similar 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.

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

Doc app

Document Center

The Document Center provides easy access to public documents. Click on one of the categories below to see related documents or use the search function.

Search for file type:
Categories always sorted by seq (sub-categories sorted within each category)
Documents sorted by DATE in Descending Order within category
Please click on one of the categories below to see uploaded documents.
Permit 1 documents
Download File
Letter from Department of Ecology informing us of need to obtain NPDES Permit.
document date 06-05-2018
Plan 5 documents
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
Download File
Draft Stormwater Operational City Code to satisfy State/Federal NPDES Phase II/MS4 Permitting Requirements.
document date 09-25-2018
Download File
This a a draft Stormwater System Plan put together by Parametrix Consulting and FCS Group. This study was primarily funded by a State Department of Ecology grant.
document date 09-11-2018
Download File
Gap Analysis
document date 09-11-2018
Download File
Management manual developed by the State of Washington Department of Ecology for municipal stormwater management on the east side of the state.
document date 06-08-2018
Rates & Finances 8 documents
Download File
How stormwater utility fees were determined and eligibility for credits.
document date 01-15-2019
Download File
This is a Powerpoint Presentation about the Stormwater Utility formation and rates.
document date 09-25-2018
Download File
Powerpoint presentation on Stormwater Utility & Rates by City Engineer Robert Gordon.
document date 09-25-2018
Download File
Table documenting all meetings, newspaper articles, social media, and radio/tv shows done about the proposed Stormwater Utility program.
document date 09-25-2018
Download File
This is a rate study conducted by FCS Group & Parametrix on fiscally what it takes to run a Stormwater Utility that passes muster with the State Department of Ecology.
document date 09-11-2018
Download File
Stormwater Utility presentation by FCS Group.
document date 09-11-2018
Download File
Refined information based on feedback from City Council during June workshop.
document date 06-14-2018
Download File
This is a Powerpoint Presentation developed by Parametrix and FCS Group that delves into what it would cost locally to operate a  municipal Stormwater Utility to satisfy the Department of Ecology.  Powerpoint is from June 5th, 2018 City Council Workshop.
document date 06-08-2018