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Thurston County Stormwater Utility

State and Federal Stormwater Regulations

Obligations for Thurston Countynpdes logo

The Permit requires the County to develop, implement, and annually update a Stormwater Management Program Plan (PDF) designed to reduce discharges of pollutants from municipal stormwater systems to protect water quality. This Plan requires the following program components:

  • Public education and outreach - A program to reduce or eliminate behaviors and practices that cause or contribute to adverse stormwater impacts as well as encourage participation in stewardship activities.
  • Public involvement and participation - Provide opportunities for public input in the development and implementation of the County’s Stormwater Management Program Plan. Ways to get involve include sharing your comments and ideas directly with the Utility’s Program Manager and participating in our volunteer-based activities. The County also utilizes a citizen advisory board to review and make recommendations regarding issues affecting the County’s Stormwater Utility.
  • Illicit discharge detection & elimination - An ongoing program to prevent, find, and eliminate illicit connections and illicit discharges into the County’s municipal stormwater system. This also involves mapping the County’s stormwater outfalls and discharge points as well as County owned and operated stormwater treatment, flow control facilities, and conveyances (i.e., pipes and ditches). Call (360) 867-2099 or submit a report online to report spills or suspicious discharges to County’s stormwater system, streets, and ditches.
  • Controlling runoff from new development, redevelopment, and construction sites - A program to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff to the County’s stormwater system. This program applies to private and public development, including roads and parking lots. Thurston County’s Drainage Design and Erosion Control Manual (PDF) sets standards for reducing and managing stormwater runoff on new development and redevelopment projects in the unincorporated areas of Thurston County. This includes maintenance standards as the County also has to inspect private stormwater facilities to ensure they continue to function properly.
  • Operations and maintenance - An operations and maintenance program to prevent or reduce pollutant runoff from County owned and operated facilities and municipal operations.
  • Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) - Compliance with actions contain in applicable TMDLs (Generally, a TMDL is a regulatory term describing a value of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive while still meeting water quality standards.) The Washington State Department of Ecology develops TMDLs and water cleanup plans for water bodies not meeting state water quality standards. Currently, Thurston County has TMDL-related obligations for the Nisqually Watershed and Henderson Inlet WatershedAppendix 2 (PDF) of the Permit contains the County’s TMDL-related obligations.
  • Monitoring & assessment - The County meets its monitoring and assessment obligations by choosing the compliance option that allows paying into a collective fund to implement a Regional Stormwater Monitoring Program.  Monitoring elements of this program include: 1) status and trends, 2) effectiveness studies, and 3) source identification and diagnostic monitoring. While not an obligation under the Permit, the County also operates monitoring stations to help evaluate local water resource conditions.

In addition to developing and implementing these programs, the Permit requires the County submit submit an an annual report (PDF) to the Washington State Department of Ecology documenting the County’s progress in fulfilling the Permit’s requirements.


Contact Us

 Staff contact: Larry Schaffner, (360) 754-4106. E-mail: schaffl@co.thurston.wa.us


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