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What is Stormwater?
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 waterways.
The stormwater and sanitary sewer systems are separate in Washougal, and because there is no central treatment plant for stormwater, it is often treated in smaller facilities that are spread out around the city before it is discharged to local waterways or groundwater.
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 Phase II 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 stormwater management programs and capital improvement projects to protect water quality and reduce the discharge of pollutants to local waterways and groundwater. Some of these programs include: Street sweeping, inspections of public and private stormwater facilities, maintenance of pipe systems/catchbasins/manholes, vegetation management, enforcement of illegal discharges, infrastructure management and mapping, stormwater facility retrofits, watershed monitoring, and environmental outreach and education projects.
Stormwater Management Program
The City of Washougal annually updates a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) Plan, outlining the City's efforts to prevent stormwater pollution and minimize runoff. The SWMP has nine components:
- Stormwater Planning
- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Involvement and Participation
- MS4 Mapping and Documentation
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Controlling Runoff from New Development, Redevelopment, and Construction Sites
- Operation and Maintenance
- Source Control Program for Existing Development
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. 228 to schedule a site consultation.