Basin Planning

Basin planning is an important part of the Utility’s purpose and function. As the County developed, storm water infrastructure was often installed for both private and public projects that only considered the current situation and did not plan for additional growth in the area. The result has often been system failures that were then addressed by dealing with the immediate problem rather than considering long-term management.

Addressing Existing Problems
The Storm Water Utility develops plans to address these existing problems while designing the system to meet the needs of future development. Storm Water infrastructure typically lasts for 50 years. To properly size and design these systems requires that we look ahead to what we think the need will be 50 years from now.

The County has 2 existing storm water plans that were adopted in 2005, a Long Range Drainage Plan Proposal for Eastsound Village (PDF) and a Long Range Drainage Plan for Lopez Village (PDF).

While the Utility has been working to implement these plans we are also working to update them based on what we know now about both current issues and future development trends.

References Documents
The current Basin Planning effort is focused on 6 natural drainage basins:
  • East Sound
  • Fisherman’s Bay
  • Garrison Bay
  • Westcott Bay
  • Mud Bay
  • False Bay
The basins were chosen based on the type of development in the area, the resources that could be affected by development, and the likelihood that storm water impacts would be more significant in these areas.

Current Planning Effort
The current planning effort also prepares the County to consider other basins in the future. The phase 1 report provides the base information for 36 separate drainage basins in San Juan County. The Citizens Storm Water Advisory Committee will evaluate the need for more specific plans in those remaining 30 Basins.