Clean Water Utility (aka Stormwater Utility)
Clean, fresh water is vital to our drinking water supply and our watershed creeks and wetlands. Natural flowing surface water and treated storm water from impervious areas infiltrate into our ground water or drains to nearshore beaches and the Salish Sea. The County manages the quality and quantity of fresh water throughout the County via the “Clean Water Utility”, formerly known as the Storm Water Utility.
Purpose: The Utility was established in 2005 to “minimize property damage, promote and protect public health, safety, and welfare, minimize water quality degradation by preventing siltation, flooding, contamination and erosion of the County’s waterways and drainages, protect aquifers, insure the safety of County roads, and rights-of-way, increase educational and recreational opportunities, restore fisheries, encourage retention of open space, and foster other beneficial public uses including the sue of low impact development strategies and technologies to the extent practicable.” (Ordinance 14-2005 Section 2, County Code Section 13.04.020)
Guiding Plans: The County completed watershed and drainage planning in priority management areas in 2015. These plans, along with local knowledge of the water systems, are used to develop capital improvement projects and enhanced maintenance activities.
Countywide Overview Volume 1
Priority Watershed Planning Volume 2
Infrastructure Improvements: The County is focused on maintaining existing infrastructure and delivering recommended capital improvements to the storm and surface water system for water quality and quantity management. Our Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is an annually updated project planning document used to budget and track improvements over time.
Storm and Surface Water Capital Improvement Plan 2018-2023
Funding Updates 2018: After a decade of no rate changes, the County is updated the Utility service fee in 2018. The adjustment allows the Utility to address capital improvement projects, and provide the services purpose of the Utility as defined in County Code.
Currently, the County continues to have the lowest rates in the State of Washington. Low income individuals will have the option to petition for rate relief on the increase for the first year, should they find the addition to be beyond their ability to pay.