Division IV. Stormwater Utility

Chapter 13.80


13.80.010    Purpose.

13.80.020    Stormwater management utility created – Authority.

13.80.030    Definitions.

13.80.040    Ownership of city stormwater facilities and assets.

13.80.050    Liability disclaimer.

13.80.060    Stormwater rates and charges.

13.80.065    Charges for stormwater for low-income senior citizens and low-income permanently disabled citizens.

13.80.070    Stormwater management fund.

13.80.010 Purpose.

To promote the public health, safety and welfare by promoting an approach to the management of surface and stormwater problems created on city streets and deliveries to city-owned stormwater facilities. [Ord. 37-06 § 1, 2006].

13.80.020 Stormwater management utility created – Authority.

There is hereby created and established a stormwater utility, a separate enterprise, pursuant to Chapter 35.67 RCW and RCW 35A.80.010, to be known as the stormwater management utility. All references to “the utility” in this chapter refer to the stormwater management utility. The utility is authorized to own, construct, maintain, operate and preserve all stormwater infrastructure as now exists and as may be added in the future. In addition to its authority over stormwater facilities, the utility is authorized to maintain, operate, and preserve the street sweeping function of the city’s street maintenance program. The utility shall be administered and enforced by the director of public works, or his/her duly authorized designee. The director is hereby authorized to specify such stormwater facility operation, maintenance and performance standards, in the public rights-of-way of the city, as necessary to implement the requirements of this code and carry out the duties of the director. [Ord. 37-06 § 1, 2006].

13.80.030 Definitions.

The purpose of this section is to provide a primary source for the definitions of terms used in the Stormwater Utility Division, Chapters 13.80, 13.82 and 13.86 WRMC, the definitions provided in the Stormwater Management Manual for Eastern Washington published by the Washington State Department of Ecology dated September 2004 and the Eastern Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit issued August 1, 2012. The definitions herein are applicable to those chapters within the context of their use. These definitions do not supersede or replace the definitions of other terms found in this title. In addition, the following shall mean:

A. “A” Definitions.

“AKART” means All Known, Available, and Reasonable methods of prevention, control, and Treatment. The most current methodology that can be reasonably required for preventing, controlling, or abating the pollutants associated with a discharge. The concept of AKART applies to both point and nonpoint sources of pollution. Best management practices (BMPs) typically applied to nonpoint source pollution controls are considered a subset of the AKART requirement. The Stormwater Management Manual for Eastern Washington published by the Washington State Department of Ecology and dated September 2004 including amendments by the city may be used as a guideline, to the extent appropriate, for developing best management practices to apply AKART for stormwater discharges.

“Apartments” means any parcel containing six or more residential units and is used primarily for residential purposes.

B. “B” Definitions.

“Best management practices” or “BMPs” are the schedules of activities, prohibitions or practices, maintenance procedures, and structural and/or managerial practices approved by the Washington State Department of Ecology that, when used singly or in combination, prevent or reduce the release of pollutants and other adverse impacts to receiving waters.

C. “C” Definitions.

“Certified erosion and sediment control lead” or “CESCL” means an individual who is knowledgeable in the principles and practices of erosion and sediment control. The CESCL shall have thorough knowledge and understanding of the construction stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) for the project site and shall have the skills to assess: the site conditions and construction activities that could impact the quality of stormwater; and the effectiveness of erosion and sediment control measures used to control the quality of stormwater discharges. The CESCL shall have a current certification through an approved erosion and sediment control training program that meets the minimum training standards established by the Washington State Department of Ecology.

“City” means the city of West Richland, Washington, a municipal corporation of the state of Washington, acting by and through its city council, unless such authority is delegated to other persons.

“Clean Water Act” means the federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 USC Section 1251 et seq.) and any subsequent amendments thereto.

“Common plan of development or sale” means a site where multiple separate and distinct construction activities may be taking place at different times on different schedules, but still under a single plan. Examples include: phased projects and projects with multiple filings or lots, even if the separate phases or filings/lots will be constructed under separate contract or by separate owners (e.g., a development where lots are sold to separate builders); a development plan that may be phased over multiple years, but still under a consistent plan for a long-term development; and projects in a contiguous area that may be unrelated but still under the same contract, such as construction of a building extension and a new parking lot at the same facility. If the project is part of a common plan of development or sale, the disturbed area of the entire plan shall be used in determining permit requirements.

“Construction activities” means any activities subject to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) construction permits. These include construction projects resulting in land disturbances of one acre or more. Such activities include but are not limited to clearing and grubbing, grading, excavating, embankment and demolition.

D. “D” Definitions.

“Developed parcel” means any parcel altered from the natural state by the construction, creation, or addition of impervious surfaces.

“Director” means the city of West Richland’s public works director and/or designees.

“Discharge” means runoff leaving the premises via overland flow, built conveyance systems, or infiltration facilities. The hydraulic rate of flow, specifically fluid flow; a volume of fluid passing a point per unit of time, commonly expressed as cubic feet per second, gallons per minute, gallons per day, or millions of gallons per day.

“Drainage facility” means the system of collecting, conveying, and storing surface and stormwater runoff. Drainage facilities shall include, but not be limited to, all surface and stormwater conveyance and containment facilities including streams, pipelines, channels, ditches, swamps, lakes, wetlands, closed depressions, infiltration facilities, retention/detention facilities, erosion/sedimentation control facilities, and other drainage structures and appurtenances, both natural and constructed.

E. “E” Definitions.

“Ecology” means the Washington State Department of Ecology.

“Erosion” means the process by which ground surface is worn away by action of wind, water, ice or gravity.

“Existing” shall mean all facilities completed on or before February 16, 2011, and projects with complete applications submitted on or before the aforementioned date.

F. “F” Definitions.

“Flow path” means the route stormwater runoff follows between two points of interest.

G. “G” Definitions.

“Good housekeeping practices” means simple common sense best management practices. Such practices include but are not limited to waste segregation, preventative maintenance, training and awareness, tidiness and safety.

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

H. “H” Definitions.

“Hazardous substance” 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/L chlorine.

I. “I” Definitions.

“Illicit connection” means any drain or conveyance, whether on the surface or subsurface, which allows an illegal discharge to enter the storm drain system including but not limited to any conveyances which allow any nonstormwater discharge including sewage, process wastewater and wash water to enter the storm drain system and any connection to the storm drain system from indoor drains and sinks, regardless of whether said drain or connection had been previously allowed, permitted or approved by the city or any government agency. Any drain or conveyance connected from a commercial or industrial land use to the storm drain system which has not been documented in plans, maps or equivalent records and approved by the city.

“Illicit discharge” or “illegal discharge” means any direct or indirect nonstormwater discharge to the city’s separate storm sewer system (MS4), except as expressly allowed in Chapter 13.82 WRMC.

“Impervious surface” means a hard surface area that either prevents or retards the entry of water into the soil mantle as under natural conditions prior to development and/or hard surface area that causes water to run off the surface in greater quantities or at an increased rate of flow from the flow present under natural conditions prior to development. Common impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to, rooftops, walkways, patios, driveways, parking lots, storage areas, concrete or asphalt paving, or other surfaces that similarly impede the natural infiltration of urban runoff.

“Industrial activity” means any activities subject to the NPDES industrial permits as defined in 40 CFR Section 122.26(b)(14).

“Industrial/commercial property” means any parcel used by a person not defined as apartment, residence or undeveloped parcel.

“Industrial waste” means any liquid, gaseous, solid, slurry or other waste substance or any combination of these resulting from any process or industry, manufacturing, trade, or business.

J. “J” Definitions – Reserved.

K. “K” Definitions – Reserved.

L. “L” Definitions.

“Land-disturbing activity” means any activity resulting in movement of earth, or a change in the existing soil cover (both vegetative and nonvegetative) and/or the existing soil topography. Land-disturbing activities include, but are not limited to, clearing, grading, filling and excavation. Compaction associated with stabilization of structures and road construction shall also be considered a land-disturbing activity. Vegetation maintenance practices are not considered land-disturbing activities.

M. “M” Definitions.

“Maintenance” means the act or process of cleaning, repairing or preserving a system, unit, facility, structure, or piece of equipment.

“Material storage facilities” means an uncovered area where bulk materials (liquid, solid, granular, etc.) are stored in piles, barrels, tanks, bins, craters, or other means.

“Maximum extent practicable (MEP)” refers to paragraph 402(p)(3)(B)(iii) of the federal Clean Water Act, which reads as follows: “Permits for discharges from municipal storm sewers shall require controls to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable, including management practices, control techniques, and system, design, and engineering methods, and other such provisions as the Administrator or the State determines appropriate for the control of such pollutants.” As an undefined term it is intended to be flexible to allow the development of site-specific conditions based upon the best professional judgment of the regulatory authority. MEP means less effective treatment may not be substituted when it is practicable to provide more effective treatment.

“Multiple-family dwelling unit” means a building or portion thereof used or designed as a residence for three or more households and containing three or more dwelling units.

“Municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4)” means the system of conveyances (including sidewalks, roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, manmade channels, or storm drains) owned and operated by the city of West Richland and designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater, and is not used for collecting or conveying sewage that drains to waters of the state.

N. “N” Definitions.

“National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit” means the national permit issued by the EPA (or by a state under authority delegated pursuant to 33 USC Section 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.

“Nonpoint source” means a diffuse source of pollution that does not result from a pollutant discharge at a specific single location (such as a single pipe) but generally results from human or human-induced activities which introduce pollutants into waters of the state through land runoff, precipitation, atmospheric deposition or percolation.

“Non-pollutant-generating impervious surfaces (NPGIS)” are considered to be insignificant sources of pollutants in stormwater runoff. Roofs that are subjected to only atmospheric deposition or normal heating, ventilation, and air conditioning vents are considered NPGIS, unless the roofing material is uncoated metal. The following may also be considered NPGIS: paved bicycle pathways and pedestrian sidewalks separated from and not subject to drainage from roads for motor vehicles, fenced fire lanes, infrequently used maintenance access roads, and “in-slope” areas of roads. Sidewalks regularly treated with sand, salt, or other de-icing/anti-icing agents are not considered NPGIS.

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

O. “O” Definitions.

“Outfall” means a point source as defined in 40 CFR 122.2 at the point where a municipal separate storm sewer discharges to waters of the state and does not include open conveyances connecting two municipal separate storm sewers, or pipes, tunnels, or other conveyances which connect segments of the same stream or other waters of the state and are used to convey waters of the state.

“Owner, occupier or operator” means any individual, association, organization, partnership, firm, corporation or other entity public or private and acting as either the owner or as the owner’s agent.

P. “P” Definitions.

“Parcel” means the smallest separately segregated unit or plot of land having an identified owner, boundaries, and surface area which is documented for property tax purposes and given a tax lot number by the Benton County assessor.

“Person” means any individual, association, organization, partnership, firm, corporation or other entity public or private and acting as either the owner or as the owner’s agent.

“Point source” means any discernible confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock or other vessel or other floating craft, from which any pollutant is or may be discharged.

“Pollutant” means anything which causes or contributes to pollution. Pollutants may include, but are not limited to: paints, varnishes, and solvents; oils and other automotive fluids; nonhazardous liquid and solid wastes and yard wastes; refuse, rubbish, garbage, litter, or other discarded or abandoned objects, ordinances, or 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.

“Pollutant-generating impervious surfaces (PGIS)” are surfaces considered to be significant sources of pollutants in stormwater runoff. Such surfaces include those subject to vehicular use, industrial activities, or storage of erodible or leachable materials receiving direct rainfall or run-on or blow-in rainfall. Roofs subject to venting of indoor pollutants from manufacturing, commercial or other operations or processes are also considered PGIS. A surface, whether paved or not, will be considered PGIS if it is regularly used by motor vehicles. The following are considered regularly used surfaces: roads, unregulated road shoulders, bike lanes within the traveled land of a roadway, driveways, parking lots, unfenced fire lanes, vehicular equipment storage yards, and airport runways.

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

“Property owner of record” means a person or persons shown in the records of the county assessor to be the owner of property and to whom property tax statements are directed.

Q. “Q” Definitions.

“Qualified personnel” means staff members or contractors who have had professional training in the aspects of stormwater management for which they are responsible and are under the functional control of the city.

R. “R” Definitions.

“Rate category” means the classification in this chapter given to a parcel in the service area based upon the type of land use on the parcel and/or the surface area (in acres) of the parcel for lands with stormwater that enters the public right-of-way.

“Rates” means the dollar amount charged per unit or per parcel in the “general classification” of WRMC 13.80.060 based upon the accommodation of stormwater runoff and other surface water management services due to vehicle usage in the public right-of-way associated with the land use activity. Private parcels, excluding single-family residences, with impervious surfaces exceeding 1,000 square feet which drain to the city street or right-of-way shall be charged an additional monthly fee as set forth in WRMC 13.80.060.

“Redevelopment” is the replacement or improvement of impervious surfaces on a developed site.

“Responsible party” means any individual, partnership, firm, company, corporation, association, government entity or any other legal entity; or their legal representatives, agents, or assigns that are named on a stormwater maintenance agreement as responsible for the operation and maintenance of one or more stormwater BMPs.

“Retention/detention facility” means a type of drainage facility designed either to hold water for a considerable length of time and then release it by evaporation, plant transpiration and/or infiltration into the ground; or to hold runoff for a short period of time and then release it to the surface and stormwater management system.

“Runoff” means water that travels the land surface, or laterally though the ground near the land surface, and discharges to water bodies either directly or through a collection and conveyance system. Runoff includes stormwater and water from other sources that travels across the land surface.

S. “S” Definitions.

“Sediment” means soils or other particulate materials eroded or otherwise separated by parent materials and transported or deposited by the action of wind, water, ice or gravity or by illegal dumping.

“Service charges” means charges to property owners for storm and surface water management services.

“Single-family residence” means a building or structure, or portion thereof, designed for and used to provide a place of abode for human beings. The term “residence” includes the term “residential” or “residential unit” as referring to the type or intended use of a building or structure.

“Start of construction” means the first land-disturbing activity associated with a development, including land preparation such as clearing, grading, and filling; installation of streets and walkways; excavation for basements, footing, piers, or foundations; erection of temporary forms; and installation of accessory buildings such as garages.

“State highway right-of-way” means the right-of-way of a state limited access highway. The term does not include city streets forming a part of the route of state highways that are not limited access highways or state property under the jurisdiction of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) that are outside the right-of-way lines of a state highway.

“Storm draining system” means the city’s municipal storm drain system that discharges to the waters of the state.

“Stormwater” means the 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 groundwater.

“Stormwater management plan (SWP)” means a document which describes the best management practices and activities to be implemented to identify sources of pollution or contamination at a site and the actions to eliminate or reduce pollutant discharges to stormwater, stormwater conveyance systems, and/or waters of the state to the maximum extent practicable.

“Stormwater management services” means the services provided by the stormwater management utility, including but not limited to basin planning, facilities maintenance, street sweeping, regulation, financial administration, public involvement, drainage investigation and enforcement, aquatic resource restoration, surface and stormwater quality and environmental monitoring, natural surface water drainage system planning, intergovernmental relations, and facility design and construction.

“Stormwater management system” means constructed drainage facilities and any natural surface water drainage features which collect, store, control, treat and/or convey surface and stormwater, including pipes, pump stations, and street gutters.

“Stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP)” means a detailed plan that identifies potential sources of pollution and describes the practices that will be used to prevent stormwater pollution. These should include erosion and sediment control, good housekeeping, conservation techniques, and infiltration practices. The plan shall identify procedures that shall be implemented and maintained throughout construction.

T. “T” Definitions.

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). Also known as a “water cleanup plan.” A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards, and an allocation of that amount to the pollutant’s source. A TMDL is the sum of the allowable loads of a single pollutant from all contributing point and nonpoint sources. The calculation shall include a margin of safety to ensure that the water body can be used for the purposes the state has designated. The calculation must also account for seasonable variation in water quality. Water quality standards are set by states, territories, and tribes. They identify the uses for each water body, for example, drinking water supply, contact recreation (swimming), and aquatic life support (fishing), and the scientific criteria to support that use. The Clean Water Act, Section 303, establishes the water quality standards and TMDL programs.

U. “U” Definitions.

“Underground injection control (UIC)” means the federal regulatory program established to protect underground sources of drinking water from UIC well discharges. A “UIC well” is defined as a bored, drilled, or driven shaft whose depth is greater than the largest surface dimension; or a dug hole whose depth is greater than the largest surface dimension; or an improved sinkhole, or a subsurface fluid distribution system which includes an assemblage of perforated pipes, drain tiles, or other similar mechanisms intended to distribute fluids below the surface of the ground. Examples of UIC wells or a subsurface infiltration system are drywells, drain fields, catch basins, pipe or French drains, and other similar devices that discharge to ground.

“Undeveloped parcel” means any parcel that has not been altered from its natural state by the construction, creation, or addition of impervious surface(s).

“Utility” means the stormwater management utility created under the provisions of this chapter.

V. “V” Definitions.

“Vacant building” means any unoccupied building or structure or portion thereof, designed for and intended to be used by a person.

W. “W” Definitions.

“Water quality” is a term used to describe the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of water, usually in respect to its suitability for a particular purpose.

“Water quality standards” means the minimum requirements of purity of water for various uses; levels or measures of water quality considered necessary to protect a beneficial use. In Washington State, the Department of Ecology sets water quality standards.

“Waters of the state” includes those waters as defined as “waters of the United States” in 40 CFR 122.2 within the geographic boundaries of Washington State and “waters of the state” as defined in Chapter 90.48 RCW which include: lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, inland waters, underground waters, salt waters, wetlands, and all other surface waters and watercourses within the jurisdiction of the state of Washington.

X. “X” Definitions – Reserved.

Y. “Y” Definitions – Reserved.

Z. “Z” Definitions – Reserved. [Ord. 20-19 § 1, 2019; Ord. 2-11 § 3, 2011; Ord. 5-10 § 1, 2010; amended during 2010 recodification; Ord. 37-06 § 1, 2006].

13.80.040 Ownership of city stormwater facilities and assets.

Title and all other incidents of ownership of the following assets are hereby vested in the utility: all properties, interest and physical and intangible rights of every nature, owned or held by the city, however acquired, insofar as they relate to:

A. Drainage facilities.

B. Street sweeping equipment. [Ord. 37-06 § 1, 2006].

13.80.050 Liability disclaimer.

A. Floods from stormwater runoff may occasionally occur which exceed the capacity of storm drainage facilities constructed and maintained by funds made available under this chapter. The city’s adoption of this code does not imply that property liable for the storm and surface water drainage charge shall always be free from stormwater flooding or flood drainage. Further, this code does not purport to reduce the need or the necessity for any property owner to obtain flood insurance.

B. This chapter shall be administered and enforced for the benefit of the health, safety and welfare of the general public, and not for the benefit of any particular person or class of persons.

C. No provision of or any term used in this chapter is intended to impose any duty upon the city or any of its officers or employees which would subject them to damages in a civil action. [Ord. 37-06 § 1, 2006].

13.80.060 Stormwater rates and charges.

A. Monthly stormwater fees shall be charged as set forth by city council in the master fee schedule.

B. As of the date a water meter has been installed, stormwater fees will be billed according to the stormwater rate schedule as outlined in the master fee schedule. In all other cases, as of the date a building permit is issued, stormwater fees will be billed according to the stormwater rate schedule as outlined in the master fee schedule. [Ord. 20-16 § 1, 2016; Ord. 22-15 § 5, 2015; Ord. 15-12 § 1, 2012; Ord. 6-11 § 1, 2011; Ord. 3-10 § 1, 2010; amended during 2010 recodification; Ord. 26-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 37-06 § 1, 2006].

13.80.065 Charges for stormwater for low-income senior citizens and low-income permanently disabled citizens.

A. A low-income senior citizen or low-income permanently disabled citizen stormwater rate is available to individuals who meet the eligibility requirements established by WRMC 1.20.010, subject to the terms and conditions as set forth therein.

B. Exclusion. A low-income senior citizen or low-income permanently disabled citizen stormwater rate will be given only for a single residence served by one meter.

C. Multiple living units serviced by one meter are specifically excluded from the low-income senior citizen or low-income permanently disabled citizen stormwater charge rates.

D. Rates. The monthly stormwater rate for low-income senior citizen or low-income permanently disabled citizen shall be set forth by city council in the master fee schedule. [Ord. 20-16 § 2, 2016; Ord. 22-15 § 5, 2015; Ord. 37-06 § 1, 2006].

13.80.070 Stormwater management fund.

There is established a stormwater management fund into which all revenue from the rates and charges in WRMC 13.80.060 together with all other utility revenue from user fees, connection charges, grants, taxes and other funding sources shall be deposited and from which all expenditures related to the city’s stormwater drainage system shall be paid. The utility may finance the construction, operation, maintenance, and preservation of stormwater infrastructure and related facilities through local improvement districts and utility local improvement district, or with proceeds of revenue bonds, or any combination thereof. In addition, the utility, through appropriation by the city council, may use funds from general taxation, money received from the federal, state, or other local governments and other funds made available to it. This utilities fund shall he kept in the manner prescribed by state law as to accounting and reporting expenditures. [Ord. 37-06 § 1, 2006].