Stormwater

What is Stormwater?No Dumping Drains to Waterway

Stormwater is any water that comes from precipitation or snowmelt. In cities and towns, impervious surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, and roofs prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground. This runoff then picks up pollutants like oil, gas, fertilizer, and sediment before flowing into storm drains and local streams.

The stormwater and sanitary sewer systems are separate in Washougal, and because there is no central treatment plant for stormwater, it must be treated in smaller facilities that are spread out around the city before it is discharged to local streams.

In Washington, the State Department of Ecology administers and enforces the Clean Water Act in part through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). In 2007, the City of Washougal was selected by the State Department of Ecology as an NPDES Permittee, due to its population size and proximity to high quality surface waters.

As a Permittee, the City is required to plan and implement a number of maintenance programs and capital improvement projects to protect water quality and reduce the discharge of pollutants to local streams and groundwater. Some of these programs include: Street sweeping, inspections of public and private stormwater quality facilities, maintenance of pipe systems/catchbasins/manholes, vegetation management, enforcement of illegal dumping codes, infrastructure management and mapping, stormwater facility retrofits, watershed monitoring, and environmental outreach and education projects.

Stormwater Management Program

The City of Washougal has developed a comprehensive Stormwater Management Program (SWMP), outlining the City's efforts to prevent stormwater pollution and minimize runoff. Generally, the SWMP has five components:

  • The formation of an illicit dumping elimination program
  • Modified regulations for new and redevelopment and construction
  • Pollution prevention program to be implemented within City operations
  • Public education
  • Public outreach and involvement

Stormwater Maintenance

Currently the City of Washougal is responsible for the maintenance of:

  • 1700 catchbasins
  • 175 drywells
  • 75 subsurface treatment facilities
  • 50 planters
  • 35 bioswales
  • 30 permeable pavement complexes
  • 20 detention ponds
  • 38+ miles of stormwater pipes
  • 10 miles of drainage ditches

This public stormwater system is connected to smaller private stormwater facilities that are maintained by businesses, HOA’s, and homeowners. The City of Washougal offers free site consultations, maintenance guides, and maintenance schedules to owners of private stormwater facilities. 

Please visit the Maps, Maintenance Guides, & More Information section for maintenance guides, or call 360-835-2662 ext. 236 to schedule a site consultation.  

Please note: Lack of regular facility maintenance can lead to costly rehabilitation projects!