Chapter 16.21


16.21.010    Purpose.

16.21.020    Definitions.

16.21.030    Statement of authority.

16.21.040    Applicability.

16.21.050    Illicit discharge.

16.21.060    Prohibition of illicit connections.

16.21.070    Requirements to prevent, control, and reduce stormwater pollutants by the use of best management practices (BMPs).

16.21.080    Watercourse protection.

16.21.090    Notification of spills.

16.21.100    Post-construction inspection.

16.21.110    Procedural provisions.

16.21.120    Collection of civil penalty.

16.21.130    Compromise settlement and disposition of suits.

16.21.140    Failure of City to enforce.

16.21.150    Abrogation and greater restrictions.

16.21.160    Interpretation.

16.21.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of Mountlake Terrace through the regulation of nonstormwater discharges to the City’s storm drainage system to the maximum extent practicable as required by federal and state law. This chapter establishes methods for controlling the introduction of pollutants into the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) in order to comply with requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit process.

Additionally, proper maintenance and operation of the municipal separate storm system (MS4) owned and operated by the City along with private conveyance, detention, and water quality facilities is necessary for the purpose of preserving the City’s watercourses, minimizing water quality degradation, controlling sedimentation of creeks and other water bodies, protecting properties located adjacent to developing land from increased runoff rates and erosion, preserving and enhancing the suitability of waters for recreation and fishing and preserving and enhancing the aesthetic quality of waterways. (Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.020 Definitions.

“Best management practice (BMP)” is defined in MTMC 16.20.020.

“City” means the City of Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

“Department” means the City of Mountlake Terrace Public Works Department.

“Detention facilities” means facilities designed to hold runoff while gradually releasing it at a predetermined maximum rate.

“Development” means any manmade change to improved or unimproved real estate including, but not limited to, buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment and materials located within the area of special flood hazard.

“Director” means the City of Mountlake Terrace Public Works Director or an employee under the direct supervision of the Director.

“Drainage facility” means the system of conveying and storing storm and surface water runoff as depicted in the drainage plan. Drainage facilities shall include, but not be limited to, all surface water conveyance facilities within the drainage area including streams, pipelines, channels, ditches, swamps, lakes, and wetlands, sinks or recharge areas, retention/detention facilities and other drainage structures and appurtenances, both natural and manmade.

“Ground water” means water in a saturated zone or stratum beneath the surface of the land or below a surface water body.

“Hazardous materials” means any material, including any substance, waste, or combination thereof, which because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics may cause, or significantly contribute to, a substantial present or potential hazard to human health, safety, property or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed.

“Hyperchlorinated” means water that contains more than 10 mg/liter chlorine.

“Illicit connection” means any manmade conveyance that is connected to a municipal separate storm sewer or a water body without a permit, excluding roof drains and other similar type connections. Examples include sanitary sewer connections, floor drains, channels, pipelines, conduits, inlets, or outfalls that are connected directly to the municipal separate storm sewer system or a water body.

“Illicit discharge” means any direct or indirect nonstormwater discharge to the City’s storm drain system, except as expressly exempted by this chapter.

“Impervious surface” is defined in MTMC 16.20.020.

“Municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4)” means a conveyance or system of conveyances, including roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, manmade channels, or storm drains, which are:

1. Owned or operated by the City;

2. Designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater;

3. Not part of a publicly owned treatment works (POTW) (“POTW” means any device or system used in treatment of municipal sewage or industrial wastes of a liquid nature which is publicly owned); and

4. Not a combined sewer (“combined sewer” means a system that collects sanitary sewage and stormwater in a single sewer system).

“National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater discharge permit” means a permit issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (or by the Washington Department of Ecology under authority delegated pursuant to 33 USC 1342(b)) that authorizes the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States, whether the permit is applicable on an individual, group, or general area-wide basis.

“Nonstormwater discharge” means any discharge to the storm drain system that is not composed entirely of stormwater.

“Person” means any individual, association, organization, partnership, firm, corporation or other entity recognized by law and acting as either the owner of a premises or as the owner’s agent.

“Pollutant” means anything which causes or contributes to pollution. Pollutants may include, but are not limited to: paints, varnishes, and solvents; oil and other automotive fluids; nonhazardous liquid and solid wastes and yard wastes; refuse, rubbish, garbage, litter, or other discarded or abandoned objects and accumulations, so that same may cause or contribute to pollution; floatables; pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers; hazardous substances and wastes; sewage, fecal coliform and pathogens; dissolved and particulate metals; animal wastes; wastes and residues that result from constructing a building or structure; and noxious or offensive matter of any kind.

“Premises” means any building, lot, parcel of land, or portion of land, whether improved or unimproved, including adjacent sidewalks and parking strips.

“Runoff” means water originating from rainfall and other precipitation that is found in drainage facilities, rivers, streams, springs, seeps, ponds, lakes and wetlands as well as shallow ground water.

“Stormwater” means runoff during and following precipitation and snowmelt events, including surface runoff and drainage.

Stormwater Manual. See definition in MTMC 16.20.020.

“Stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP)” means “construction stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP)” as defined in MTMC 16.20.020. (Ord. 2798 § 10, 2021; Ord. 2729 § 9, 2018; Ord. 2700 § 7, 2016; Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.030 Statement of authority.

The Director is charged with the administration of and compliance with the listed portions of this chapter regulation, as established by the City. The Director is empowered to establish such administrative and physical procedures and guidelines as are required in the execution of the authority provided under this chapter. (Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.040 Applicability.

This chapter shall apply to all property within the City limits, unless explicitly exempted by the City, and may also apply to the full extent provided by law to those lands which are outside the City limits which discharge storm and surface waters into, from, and through the City stormwater and surface water drainage system. Jurisdiction in those areas not within the City limits shall be subject to the provisions of intergovernmental agreements as they now exist or shall be later entered into or modified between the City and other affected neighboring jurisdictions. (Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.050 Illicit discharge.

A. Degradation of Water Quality. The storm and surface waters discharging from an individual property or project shall be of such quality as to meet Class A surface water quality standards of the state of Washington (Chapter 173-201A WAC) herein adopted as part of this chapter by reference or the quality of the receiving water, whichever is higher. No one shall introduce into the drainage waters any liquid or solid foreign substances of biodegradable or other nature which shall cause the water quality to degrade from applicable state standards. Products of erosion shall be prevented from entering the natural drainage system or any portion of the stormwater conveyance system at all times, during both the construction on the property and the subsequent operation of the facilities provided. All trash and debris shall be prohibited from entering the drainage system at any point within the property.

B. Prohibited Discharges. No person shall throw, drain or otherwise discharge, cause or allow others under its control to throw, drain or otherwise discharge onto the municipal storm drain system and/or surface and ground waters any material other than stormwater. Examples of prohibited contaminants include but are not limited to the following:

1. Litter, trash, rubbish, or debris.

2. Petroleum products including but not limited to oil, gasoline, grease, fuel oil, and heating oil.

3. Antifreeze and other automotive products.

4. Soaps, detergents, ammonia, steam cleaning wastes, drain cleaners, degreasers, solvents and laundry wastes.

5. Chemicals or metals in either particulate or dissolved form, not normally found in uncontaminated water, acids, alkalis or bases.

6. Pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.

7. Chlorine, bromine or other disinfectants.

8. Domestic or sanitary sewage including recreational vehicle waste, domestic animal waste.

9. Collected lawn clippings, leaves, branches, bark and other fibrous materials, food wastes.

10. Animal carcasses.

11. Food wastes.

12. Construction materials or debris, including silt or sediment runoff, concrete or concrete residue, cement or gravel.

13. Paints, stains, resins, lacquers or varnishes.

14. Flammable or explosive materials, radioactive material, batteries.

15. Swimming pool discharge including chlorinated water, swimming pool cleaning wastewater and filter backwash. Pool discharge is allowed if dechlorinated to a concentration of 0.1 ppm or less, pH-adjusted and reoxygenated if necessary, and is volumetrically and velocity controlled to prevent resuspension of sediments in the stormwater system.

16. Discharge any water or in any way cause the temperature of the water discharged from the property to exceed by more than five degrees Fahrenheit the temperature of the nearest receiving body of water, by the time it reaches the receiving body of water.

17. Dyes (without prior permission of the designee).

18. Discharges from potable water sources unless discharge is dechlorinated to a concentration of 0.1 ppm or less, pH-adjusted if necessary and volumetrically and velocity controlled to prevent resuspension of sediments in the stormwater system.

19. Discharges from lawn watering and other irrigation runoff. These discharges shall be minimized through, at a minimum, public education activities and water conservation efforts.

20. Street and sidewalk wash water, water used to control dust, and routine external building wash down that does not use detergents. These discharges shall be minimized through, at a minimum, public education activities and water conservation efforts.

21. Any hazardous material or waste or nonstormwater discharge, not listed above.

C. Allowable Discharges. Discharges from the sources listed below shall only be illicit discharges if the designee determines that the type of discharge, whether singly or in combination with others, is causing or contributing to a water quality violation, or is causing or contributing to a water quality problem, such as those which contain more contamination than typical discharge in the City, or which contain a type of contamination that is more toxic or is otherwise a more serious problem than typical discharges in the City:

1. Diverted stream flows.

2. Rising ground waters.

3. Uncontaminated ground water infiltration (as defined at 40 CFR 35.2005(20)).

4. Natural uncontaminated pumped ground water, natural uncontaminated surface water, natural springs.

5. Air conditioning condensation.

6. Irrigation water from agricultural sources that is commingled with urban stormwater.

7. Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands.

8. Uncontaminated water from crawl space pumps, uncontaminated water from footing drains, foundation drains and other subsurface drains approved by the designee or, where approval is not required, installed in compliance with this chapter and rules promulgated pursuant to this chapter.

9. Nonstormwater discharges covered by another NPDES permit.

10. Discharges from emergency fire fighting activities.

D. Conditional Discharges. The following types of discharges shall not be considered illegal discharges for the purposes of this chapter if they meet the stated conditions, or unless the designee determines that the type of discharge, whether singly or in combination with others, is causing or is likely to cause pollution of surface water or groundwater:

1. Potable water, including water from water line flushing, hyperchlorinated water line flushing, fire hydrant system flushing, and pipeline hydrostatic test water. Planned discharges shall be dechlorinated to a concentration of 0.1 ppm or less, pH-adjusted, if necessary and in volumes and velocities controlled to prevent resuspension of sediments in the stormwater system.

2. Lawn water and other irrigation runoff are permitted but shall be minimized.

3. Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges. These discharges shall be dechlorinated to a concentration of 0.1 ppm or less, pH-adjusted if necessary, and in volumes and velocities controlled to prevent resuspension of sediments in the stormwater system.

4. Street and sidewalk wash water, water used to control dust, and routine external building wash down that does not use detergents are permitted if the amount of street wash and dust control water used is minimized. At active construction sites, street sweeping must be performed prior to washing the street.

5. Nonstormwater discharges covered by another NPDES permit; provided, that the discharger is in full compliance with all requirements of the permit, waiver, or order and other applicable laws and regulations; and provided, that written approval has been granted for any discharge to the storm drain system.

6. Other nonstormwater discharges. The discharges shall be in compliance with the requirements of a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) reviewed and approved by the City, which addresses control of such discharges by applying all known, available and reasonable methods of prevention, control and treatment to prevent contaminants from entering surface or ground water. (Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.060 Prohibition of illicit connections.

The construction, use, maintenance, or continued existence of illicit connections to storm drain system is prohibited. This prohibition expressly includes, without limitation, illicit connections made in the past, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under law or practices applicable or prevailing at the time of connection. A person is considered to be in violation of this chapter if the person connects to a line conveying sewage to the City storm system or allows such a connection to continue. (Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.070 Requirements to prevent, control, and reduce stormwater pollutants by the use of best management practices (BMPs).

The Stormwater Manual sets forth approved best management practices (BMPs). The owner or operator of a commercial or industrial establishment shall provide, at its own expense, reasonable protection from accidental discharge of prohibited materials or other wastes into the municipal storm drain system or watercourses through the use of these structural and nonstructural BMPs. Source control BMPs will be applied to control pollutant-generating sources associated with existing land uses and activities as specified in the City’s current stormwater permit from Ecology. Applicable operational source control BMPs shall be required for all pollutant-generating sources. If operational source control BMPs do not prevent illicit discharges or violations of surface water, groundwater, or sediment management standards, structural source control BMPs or treatment BMPs (or both) may be required. In cases where the manual lacks guidance for a specific source of pollutants, the City will work with the owner/operator to implement or adapt BMPs based on the City’s best professional judgement. (Ord. 2798 § 11, 2021; Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.080 Watercourse protection.

Every person owning or leasing property through which a watercourse passes shall keep and maintain that part of the watercourse within the property free of trash, debris, and other obstacles that would pollute, contaminate, or significantly retard the flow of water through the watercourse. In addition, the owner or lessee shall maintain existing privately owned structures within or adjacent to a watercourse, so that such structures will not become a hazard to the use, function, or physical integrity of the watercourse. (Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.090 Notification of spills.

Notwithstanding other requirements of law, as soon as any person responsible for a premises or operation, or responsible for emergency response for a premises or operation, has information of any known or suspected release of materials which are resulting or may result in illegal discharges or pollutants discharging into stormwater, the storm drain system, or water of the state flowing through the City, said person shall take all necessary steps to ensure the discovery, containment, and cleanup of such release. In the event of such a release of hazardous materials, said person shall immediately notify emergency response agencies of the occurrence via emergency dispatch services. In the event of a release of nonhazardous materials, said person shall notify the Department in person or by phone or facsimile no later than the next business day. If the discharge of prohibited materials emanates from a commercial or industrial establishment, the owner or operator of such establishment shall also retain an on-site written record of the discharge and the actions taken to prevent its recurrence. (Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.100 Post-construction inspection.

A. The Director is authorized to administer an inspection program for public and private stormwater facilities in the City. Minimum maintenance standards shall be in accordance with the Stormwater Manual.

B. Whenever implementing the provisions of this inspection program or whenever there is cause to believe that a violation of this chapter has been or is being committed, the designee is authorized to inspect stormwater drainage within Mountlake Terrace to determine compliance with the provisions of this chapter. The owner or person(s) having charge or control over any property shall allow the Director access at all reasonable times to all parts of the premises for the purpose of inspection, sampling or records examination. If the property or any building or structure on the property is unoccupied, the Director shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person(s) having charge or control of the property or portions of the property and request entry. If, after reasonable effort, the inspector is unable to locate the owner or other person(s) having charge or control over the property, and has reason to believe the condition of the stormwater facility creates a risk of imminent harm to persons or property, the Director may enter. If entry is not consented to by the owner or person(s) in control of the property or portion of the property, and no conditions are reasonably believed to exist which create a risk of imminent harm, the Director shall obtain a search warrant prior to entry. To the extent authorized by the laws of the state of Washington, the City may seek such a warrant through South District Court permitting the inspection of stormwater facilities on the property upon a showing of probable cause to believe that a provision of this chapter has been or is being violated.

C. If during the periodic inspection of the completed and accepted drainage facility it is observed by the City that stormwater facilities have failed structurally or fail to operate in accordance with the approved drainage plan, or the facility is not being maintained in accordance with the minimum standards of the Stormwater Manual, the current holder(s) of any right title or interest in the property where said facilities are located shall restore them to where they again function and operate in accordance with the approved drainage plan or the Stormwater Manual.

In the event deficiencies are found, the property owner shall make such corrections as are necessary:

1. Within one year for typical maintenance of facilities, except catch basins.

2. Within six months for catch basins.

3. Within two years for maintenance that requires capital construction of less than $25,000.

Any structure or condition which violates the provisions of this chapter shall be and the same hereby is declared to be unlawful and a public nuisance and may be abated as such. (Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.110 Procedural provisions.

A. Interpretation and Conflicts. The Director shall have the authority to administer the provisions of this chapter, to make determinations with regard to the applicability of the regulations, to interpret the intent of unclear provisions, to require additional information, to determine the level of detail and appropriate methodologies for critical area reports and studies, to prepare application and informational materials as required, to promulgate procedures and rules for unique circumstances not anticipated with the standards and procedures contained within this section.

B. Enforcement.

1. Voluntary Correction. When it has been determined that a violation has occurred or is occurring, the City may enter into a voluntary correction agreement, which is a contract between the City and the responsible person, under which such person agrees to abate the violation within a specified time and according to specified conditions. The voluntary correction agreement shall include the following:

a. The name and address of the person responsible for the violation; and

b. The street address or other description sufficient for identification of the building, structure, premises, or land upon or within which the violation has occurred or is occurring; and

c. A description of the violation and a reference to the regulation which has been violated; and

d. The necessary corrective action to be taken, and a date or time by which the correction must be completed; and

e. An agreement by the person responsible for the violation that the City may inspect the premises as necessary to determine compliance with the voluntary correction agreement; and

f. A statement of understanding that if the terms of the voluntary correction agreement are not satisfied, that the City may abate the violation and recover its costs and expenses (including attorney fees, expert witness fees, and court costs) from the person responsible for the violation, and/or they may be subject to a monetary penalty; and

g. A statement of understanding that by entering into the voluntary correction agreement, the person responsible for the violation waives the right to a hearing as to the existence of the violation and stipulates to the same. A statement of understanding that an extension of the time limit for correction or a modification of the required corrective action may be granted if the person responsible for the violation has shown due diligence and/or substantial progress in correcting the violation, but unforeseen circumstances delay correction under the original conditions.

2. Notice of Civil Violation. When it is determined that a violation has occurred or is occurring, and the City is unable to secure voluntary correction or a voluntary agreement is not applicable, the City may issue a notice of civil violation or a notice and order to the person responsible for the violation. A notice and order shall include the following:

a. The name and address of the person responsible for that violation; and

b. The street address or description sufficient for identification of the building, structure, premises, or land upon or within which the violation has occurred or is occurring; and

c. A description of the violation and a reference to the provision(s) of the City regulation(s) which has been violated; and

d. The required corrective action and a date and time by which the correction must be completed, after which the City may abate the unlawful condition using all legal means; and

e. A statement that the order may be appealed to the Hearing Examiner upon filing a written request for hearing with the City Manager or designee within 15 days of issuance of the order. Failure to timely file a notice of appeal shall constitute a waiver of the right to appeal the determination of the order. An appeal hearing, timely requested, shall be set before the Hearing Examiner no less than 20 days but no more than 60 days from the date the notice of civil violation is issued, unless such date is continued by the Hearing Examiner for good cause or by agreement of the parties; and

f. A statement indicating that the hearing will be canceled and no monetary penalty will be assessed, other than City costs and expenses, if the required corrective action is completed and approved by the City prior to the hearing; and

g. A statement that the costs and expenses of abatement incurred by the City and a monetary penalty in an amount per day or week for each violation may be assessed against the person to whom the notice of civil violation is directed as specified and ordered by the court.

Service of the notice to the person responsible for the violation may be done either personally or by mailing a copy of the notice of civil violation by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to such person at their last known address. If the person responsible for the violation cannot be personally served within Snohomish County and if an address for mailed service cannot be ascertained, notice shall be served by posting a copy of the notice of civil violation conspicuously on the affected property or structure. Proof of service shall be made by a written declaration under penalty of perjury executed by the person effecting the service, declaring the time and date of service, the manner by which the service was made and, if by posting, the facts showing the attempts to serve the person personally or by mail.

3. Abatement.

a. Urgent Abatement. Whenever a condition the continued existence of which constitutes an immediate threat to the public health, safety or welfare or to the environment is found to exist, the City may summarily and without prior notice abate the condition. Notice of such abatement, including the reason for it, shall be given to the person responsible for the violation as soon as reasonably possible after the abatement.

b. Judicial Abatement. The City may seek judicial process, as it deems necessary, to abate a condition which was caused by or continues to be a violation of this chapter and other methods of remedial action failed to produce compliance. An order of abatement is issued through the appropriate court of jurisdiction.

C. Penalties.

1. Violation of, or failure to comply with, any provision of this chapter is a civil offense except as otherwise provided, and subject to a fine as established by resolution. If the violation has not been corrected pursuant to a notice and order, or the fine is not paid within 15 days of issuance of the notice and order and the notice and order has not been appealed, the violation shall constitute a continued offense subject to the penalties in subsection (C)(3) of this section.

2. Any person or entity cited for violation under subsection B of this section may request an administrative hearing by notifying the Department in writing within 15 days of the issuance of the citation. The requested hearing shall be brought before the Hearing Examiner in accordance with and pursuant to Chapter 2.120 MTMC.

3. A continued offense or subsequent violation of the same or like provision committed within a 24-month period shall constitute a misdemeanor crime and shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or 90 days in jail, or both such fine and jail time, and shall be in addition to any civil remedy for abatement and collection for the cost and expense thereof. (Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.120 Collection of civil penalty.

The civil penalty constitutes a personal obligation of the person(s) to whom the notice of violation is directed. The City Attorney, on behalf of the City, is authorized to collect the civil penalty by use of appropriate legal remedies, the seeking or granting of which shall neither stay nor terminate the accrual of additional per diem penalties so long as the violation continues. (Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.130 Compromise settlement and disposition of suits.

The Director and the City Attorney are hereby authorized to enter into negotiations with the parties or their legal representatives named in a lawsuit for the collection of civil penalties to negotiate a settlement, compromise or otherwise dispose of a lawsuit when to do so will be in the best interests of the City; provided, that a report shall be submitted to the City Council in any instance when a compromise settlement is negotiated. (Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.140 Failure of City to enforce.

The failure or refusal of the City to enforce any provision of this chapter, and as hereafter amended, shall not constitute a waiver or bar to prevent enforcement thereof against any person for a subsequent violation hereof, or for any other violation by any other person. (Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.150 Abrogation and greater restrictions.

This chapter is not intended to repeal, abrogate, or impair any existing easements, covenants, or deed restrictions. However, where this chapter and another ordinance, easement, covenant, or deed restriction conflict or overlap, whichever imposes the more stringent restrictions shall prevail. (Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).

16.21.160 Interpretation.

In the interpretation and application of this chapter, all provisions shall be:

A. Considered as minimum requirements;

B. Liberally construed in favor of the governing body; and

C. Deemed neither to limit nor repeal any other powers granted under state statutes. (Ord. 2549 § 2, 2010).