Stormwater Utility

What is stormwater?

Stormwater is water that falls as rain or snow and is collected into the city’s stormwater system. Our Stormwater Division works to protect water quality, enhance habitat, control flooding, and comply with state and federal requirements. 

Why is stormwater management important?

Critical work includes public education/outreach/involvement, site inspections of storm facilities, street sweeping to remove pollutants from roads, repair/replacement of damaged storm pipes and other structures, cleaning and maintenance of city infrastructure, water quality sampling in Lake Ballinger, storm outfall screening to find pollutant sources, and spill prevention/cleanup.

2019-2020 Storm Utility Expenditures

Over 66% of expenditures in the storm utility covers system operations and maintenance. Approximately 12% of the budget goes toward regulatory compliance, which is partially funded by a grant from the Department of Ecology.  Taxes are 10% of the budget. Engineering support for storm projects, street sweeping, and professional services make up the remaining 12%.  The stormwater program is dedicated to keeping Mountlake Terrace a clean, green, healthy place to live.     

Stormwater runoff graphic provided by Association of Washington Cities

Stormwater Illustration: Courtesy of Association of Washington Cities

Stormwater Rate Study

The city's 2018 Stormwater Comprehensive Plan was approved in early 2019. The plan indicated a significant gap between required revenue and existing revenue, and recommended a stormwater rate study be completed.  An introduction to the rate study results was provided to City Council in September.

A financial review of the stormwater budget indicated that to meet increased demand for stormwater services, costs for operations and maintenance have exceeded stormwater revenues, diminishing the ending fund balance each year.  

An ordinance establishing revised stormwater codes, rates, capital facilities charges, and credits for 2020-2025 was approved and adopted by City Council in November 2019.

The city's Regional Infiltration Facility, under construction.

Stormwater Pipes