City of Vancouver


The City of Vancouver has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in order to establish minimum stormwater management requirements and controls to protect and safeguard the general health, safety, and welfare of the public residing in watersheds within this jurisdiction.  The City of Vancouver is the permitting authority for all land disturbing activities and requires the land owner to maintain all on-site stormwater control facilities and all open space areas (e.g. parks or “green” areas) required by the approved stormwater control plan. The City of Vancouver will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of Vancouver, under the NPDES program, also has the authority to inspect properties for noncompliance and can issue a notice of violation (NOV) for any deficiency or infraction onsite. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any stormwater facilities or practices located on the property. The City of Vancouver  has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they are properly maintained and functioning.

Excerpt from Vancouver Municipal Code

Chapter 14.09: STORMWATER MANAGEMENT--REGULATIONS AND CHARGES

Section 14.09.010 Purpose.

Council finds that this chapter is necessary to protect public and private property, to preserve streams, wetlands and floodways, to minimize water quality degradation from urban runoff and to ensure the sound development of property within the city to the benefit of all citizens.

The recognition of the city's stormwater system as an additional component of the municipal water-sewer utility is necessary to provide for the proper management and funding of the stormwater system, and for the orderly development of required stormwater systems and facilities.

Section 14.09.020 Stormwater management.

Pursuant to RCW 35.67, the City of Vancouver water and sewer utility establishes provisions for storm and surface water management. Such provisions shall give the utility authority and responsibility for carrying out the comprehensive stormwater plan, including responsibility for planning, design, construction, maintenance, administration and operation of all city stormwater facilities, as well as establishing standards for design, construction and maintenance of improvements on private property where these may effect stormwater management.

Section 14.09.030 Ownership of city stormwater facilities and assets.

Title and all other incidents of ownership of the following assets are vested in the water and sewer utility:

All properties, interests, and physical and intangible rights of every nature owned or held by the city, however acquired, insofar as they relate to or concern storm or surface water runoff.

Section 14.09.035 Inspection and Approval.

All work done under a permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to the inspection and approval by the director or designee, and the work shall not be deemed completed until it has been inspected and approved as satisfactory.

Section 14.09.050 Surface water program and stormwater capital plan.

The stormwater capital plan which is attached to SR 229-94 is adopted as the city's stormwater plan. Said plan shall be reviewed and updated by staff periodically as necessary to meet the needs of the system and returned for public hearing and may then be added to or amended. Such plan provides a practical and reasonable means to relieve the stormwater issues of the city and to preserve the integrity of the city's water supply and to protect its wastewater collection and treatment system.

Section 14.09.060 Rates for storm and surface water management.

A. Because all real property in the city contributes stormwater runoff to and/or benefits from the city's stormwater system, the owners thereof shall pay monthly charges as set forth in this section. Monthly charges will have two components as follows:

1. Operation and Maintenance. To provide for administrative and field operations, billing, accounting, and for the maintenance, repair and upgrade of existing stormwater facilities.

2. Capital Expenditures. To provide for basin-wide and system master planning and subsequent capital improvement projects as identified in the stormwater capital plan.

B. The water and sewer utility is authorized to establish charges for the use and discharge to the city’s stormwater system. Such charges shall be based on the cost of providing stormwater service to all properties within the city and may be different for properties receiving different classes of service.

Monthly charges shall be established as follows:

Effective January 1, 2018

Single Family

Multi-Family

Commercial

Industrial

$10.13 per month

$10.13 per 2,500 sq. ft. hard surface per month ($10.13 minimum)
$10.13 per 2,500 sq. ft. hard surface per month ($10.13 minimum)
$10.13 per 2,500 sq. ft. hard surface per month ($10.13 minimum)

Effective January 1, 2019

Single Family

Multi-Family

Commercial

Industrial

$10.96 per month
$10.99 per 2,500 sq. ft. hard surface per month ($10.99 minimum)
$10.99 per 2,500 sq. ft. hard surface per month ($10.99 minimum)

$10.99 per 2,500 sq. ft. hard surface per month ($10.99 minimum)

Effective January 1, 2020

Single Family

Multi-Family

Commercial

Industrial

$11.80 per month
$11.80 per 2,500 sq. ft. hard surface per month ($11.80 minimum)
$11.80 per 2,500 sq. ft. hard surface per month ($11.80 minimum)

$11.80 per 2,500 sq. ft. hard surface per month ($11.80 minimum)

C. "Multi-family Customer" class shall apply to customers with living units that share a common wall.

1. Multi-family customers with two or more living units per meter will be charged the effective rate per 2,500 sq. ft. of impervious surface.

2. Multi-family customers with one water meter per living unit will be charged the prevailing "Single-family customer rate" per unit.

Section 14.09.100 Credits allowed.

A reduction in the rates described herein may be granted for the following reasons and purposes:

A. Multi-family, commercial and industrial accounts may receive a fifty percent rate reduction if the affected property either meets or exceeds the water quantity and water quality requirements established by the Stormwater Manual or city ordinance, whichever is more restrictive, applicable to civil plan approval of new development or redevelopment. In order to be eligible for such discounts, an applicant must submit the following:

  1. Stormwater quantity and quality facilities site plan; and,
  2. Report prepared by a professional registered civil engineer verifying by appropriate calculations that the facilities meet or exceed the requirements of the Stormwater Manual applicable to civil plan approval of new development or redevelopment.
  3. Documentation that an existing water quality or quantity facility is properly maintained in accordance with the applicable requirements of the Stormwater Manual as defined in VMC 14.25.105. Failure to provide documentation demonstrating proper maintenance may result in revocation of credits.

B. Properties with facilities that provide water quality treatment to publicly-owned property or right of way and which have been identified in the surface water program as facilities of basin or system-wide importance may be eligible for a percentage reduction in the surface water charge.

C. Accounts identified for special rates in VMC 14.09.060 sections D, F and G shall not be eligible for additional credits allowed herein.

D. Properties relying on publicly-owned or maintained stormwater facilities for water quality or quantity treatment shall not be eligible for credits.

E. Rainwater harvesting credits. Pursuant to RCW 35.67.020, accounts not eligible for any other credit allowed herein shall be eligible for a 10 percent reduction in the monthly charge for any new or remodeled commercial building that utilizes a permissive rainwater harvesting system. Rainwater harvesting systems shall be properly sized to utilize the available roof surface of the building(s). The reduced rate shall apply only to the portion of the site impervious area draining to the rainwater harvesting system.

(Ord. M-3145 § 1 (part), 1994)

(M-4022, Amended, 09/10/2012, Sec 46-Effective 10/10/2012)

Chapter 14.25 STORMWATER CONTROL

Section 14.25.100 Applicability.

A. Provisions of this chapter apply to new development and redevelopment activities, as defined herein and as regulated by the most current version of the City’s January 17, 2007 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit and its mandatory incorporated provisions of the 2005 edition of the Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington.

B. All new development and redevelopment activities shall comply with this chapter; with the most current version of the City’s January 17, 2007 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit, with the Permit’s Minimum Requirements and its mandatory incorporated provisions of the 2005 Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington; and with the City’s General Requirements; provided that exceptions to the Minimum Requirements may be granted under criteria and procedures set forth in this chapter.

Section 14.25.105 Adoption of Manuals.

A. For purposes of regulation of activities subject to this chapter, the City hereby adopts by reference the 2005 Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington (Stormwater Manual).

B. For purposes of providing technical guidance concerning Low Impact Development for activities subject to this chapter, the City hereby adopts the most current edition of the Low Impact Development Technical Guidance Manual for Puget Sound (LID Manual). New development and redevelopment projects utilizing low impact development practices shall refer to the LID Manual and the Stormwater Manual for design recommendations.

C. For purposes of regulation of activities subject to this chapter, the City hereby adopts by reference the most current version of the “City of Vancouver Engineering Services General Requirements and Details for the Design and Construction of Water, Sanitary Sewer and Surface Water Systems” (General Requirements). The General Requirements are intended to supplement and clarify the Stormwater Manual to provide guidance for and tailor to local conditions. The General Requirements may also adopt measures that are deemed equivalent by the Washington State Department of Ecology.

D. For purposes of providing technical assistance concerning City operations, the City hereby adopts by reference the most current version of "The City of Vancouver's Best Management Practices for the Operation and Maintenance of Publicly-owned Property".

E. At least one copy of each manual adopted in this section shall be filed in the Office of the City Clerk for use and examination by the public. The manuals may also be made available for use and examination by the public at the Office of the Director, or on the City website.

F. Where provisions of this chapter or manuals adopted under this section conflict with other manuals adopted under this section, or with other provisions of the Vancouver Municipal Code, the more stringent requirements, which have the most protective effect on water quality, shall apply.

Section 14.25.120 Enforcement.

It shall be unlawful to violate the provisions of this chapter. Enforcement of this chapter shall be governed by VMC Title 22.

Section 14.25.210 Runoff treatment.

A. Runoff treatment in new development and redevelopment shall follow the requirements of the City's General Requirements and the Stormwater Manual.

B. Stormwater treatment BMPs shall be selected, sited, designed and constructed in accordance with the requirements detailed in the City's General Requirements and the Stormwater Manual.

Section 14.25.215 Source control of pollution.

Source control BMPs shall be applied to all projects. Source control BMPs shall be selected, designed and maintained in compliance with the Stormwater Manual, the City’s General Requirements, and VMC 14.26.

Section 14.25.220 Flow control.

A. Flow control in new development and redevelopment shall follow the requirements of Appendix 1 of the Permit.

B. Natural drainage flow routes of surface water shall be maintained, and discharges from the site shall occur at the natural location and elevation, to the maximum extent practicable. The manner by which runoff is discharged from the project site must not cause a significant adverse impact to downstream receiving waters and down gradient properties. All outfalls require energy dissipation.

C. Flow control facilities shall be selected, sited, designed and constructed in compliance with the Stormwater Manual and with the City’s General Requirements.

D. UIC wells used to manage stormwater for flow control shall meet the non-endangerment standard (Chapter 173-218WAC); which means the UIC well shall be designed, constructed, operated, maintained, and decommissioned in a manner that protects groundwater quality (Chapter 173-200WAC).

E. Design of stormwater collection and conveyance systems shall be in accordance with the City’s General Requirements.

F. Hydrologic and hydraulic analysis shall be in accordance with the Stormwater Manual and with the General Requirements.

G. Every new development and redevelopment must demonstrate that sufficient downstream conveyance capacity exists to accommodate the increased flows from the project. Hydrologic and hydraulic analysis will be required when sufficient capacity has not been established.

Section 14.25.225 Low impact development.

It is recommended that new development and redevelopment projects utilize Low Impact Development practices. LID practices shall refer to the Low Impact Development Technical Guidance Manual for Puget Sound, the Stormwater Manual, and the General Requirements for design recommendations. All uses of LID practices shall meet applicable regulations and requirements.

Section 14.25.227 Wetlands protection.

Wetlands Protection required under Minimum Requirement #8 may also be addressed in VMC Chapter 20.740, Critical Areas. Where provisions of this chapter or manuals adopted under this chapter conflict with other manuals adopted under this section, or with other provisions of the Vancouver Municipal Code, the more stringent requirements, which have the most protective effect on water quality and wetland function shall apply.

Section 14.25.230 Ownership and maintenance.

A. Ownership

  1. City Ownership of Stormwater Facilities. Stormwater systems and facilities that collect, convey, treat and/or infiltrate runoff from public rights-of-way will be owned and maintained by the City, unless it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Director that the stormwater facilities can be adequately maintained by private parties.
  2. Private Ownership of Stormwater Facilities. Owners of private stormwater systems and facilities that collect, convey, treat and/or infiltrate runoff from private properties are responsible for the operation and maintenance of those facilities.
  3. Ownership and maintenance responsibility for stormwater facilities shall be specified on a recorded plat, short plat, or covenant.

B. Maintenance standards. All stormwater facilities shall be inspected and maintained so that they operate as designed. Inspection and maintenance shall comply with the “Maintenance Standards for Drainage Facilities” as specified in Volume V-Runoff Treatment BMPs in the Stormwater Manual, and with an approved operations and maintenance manual. [see below links]

C. Short-term Maintenance.

  1. To insure satisfactory operation of new private stormwater facilities, the applicant constructing the facility shall maintain it for two years after completion of the project.
  2. For stormwater facilities within a public road right-of-way or on land owned by the City, the applicant, after satisfactory completion of the stormwater facilities, shall post and maintain a maintenance bond or other security acceptable to the Director. The two-year maintenance bond will cover the cost of design defects or failures in workmanship of the facilities. The amount of the maintenance bond shall be ten percent of the construction cost of the stormwater facilities.

D. City Long-Term Maintenance.

  1. The City is responsible for long-term maintenance of new stormwater facilities under any of the following situations:
  1. Facilities located in public road rights-of-way; or
  2. Facilities dedicated to the City; or
  3. City-owned facilities that collect, convey, treat and/or infiltrate runoff from public rights-of-way.
  1. If the City provides long-term maintenance of a stormwater facility, all the following requirements shall be met before the City becomes responsible for maintenance:
  1. The facilities shall be inspected and approved by the Director prior to acceptance.
  2. All necessary ownerships and easements to properly access the facility shall be conveyed to the City and recorded with the county auditor.

E. Private Long-Term Maintenance.

  1. For private stormwater facilities, the applicant shall make arrangements requiring that the existing or future occupants or owners assume maintenance responsibilities. Such arrangements shall be approved prior to approval of the stormwater site plan or prior to the time of recording a required plat, short plat, or covenant.
  2. The City shall have the authority to inspect private facilities for compliance. If the responsible party fails to maintain the facilities in compliance with maintenance standards for drainage facilities as specified in the Stormwater Manual, and in compliance with an approved operations and maintenance manual, the City may take enforcement action under VMC Title 22.

(M-3920, Repealed & Replaced, 06/15/2009, Sec 3)

Vancouver Stormwater Resources

Vancouver Stormwater Management Plan (2020)

Vancouver Stormwater, Surface Water & Groundwater Utility Page

Vancouver General Requirement Standards & Details for Water, Sanitary Sewer & Stormwater Page

Vancouver Municipal Code Title 14 Water and Sewers