Public Works

Storm Water

Storm Water


What is stormwater?

Stormwater is rain and water that comes from melting snow and ice. Stormwater can soak into the soil, be held on the surface and evaporate, or run off and end up in nearby streams, rivers or other water bodies. In natural landscapes, soils absorb much of the stormwater, and plants help hold stormwater close to where it falls.

When we develop land by building houses, roads and parking lots, we increase the amount of impervious surface in an area. Impervious surfaces – roads, driveways, sidewalks, swimming pools, parking lots, for example – do not allow water to naturally infiltrate into the ground and are also often covered in residues from vehicle traffic and other human activities. Rainwater and melt-off instead wash over these surfaces, taking with them the contaminants. The increased runoff can clog drain systems, erode natural watercourses, flush pollutants into nearby rivers and lakes, and even cause flooding.


Do Your Part

Pollutants carried in stormwater runoff are quickly becoming a leading cause of water pollution in our rivers and lakes. That’s because all water and contaminates that enter storm drains go directly into our environment; storm drains are NOT designed to treat water.

The Wenatchee Valley Stormwater Technical Advisory Committee was formed between Chelan County, Douglas County and the cities of Wenatchee and East Wenatchee. Together they developed a regional stormwater program, a hotline for illegal dumping into storm drains and an informational website for the public.

To do your part, follow these 12 tips to prevent debris and pollutants from entering our storm drains:

  1. Wash vehicles at the carwash – not on the street or driveway.
  2. Use fertilizers sparingly on your lawn.
  3. Set sprinklers to water the lawn and garden only – not pavement.
  4. Pick up and dispose of pet waste properly.
  5. Keep litter out of the storm drain system. If you see it, pick it up.
  6. Dispose of motor oil, antifreeze and other automobile fluids at the Chelan County Moderate Risk Waste Facility. Check your vehicle routinely to make sure it is not leaking fluids.
  7. Dispose of yard debris properly through yard recycling, compost bins or transport to a local brush drop-off site.
  8. Sweep grass clippings and yard debris into piles for collection. Do not hose them down the drain.
  9. Direct downspouts and rain gutters AWAY from paved surfaces.
  10. Dispose of all RV waste properly at RV dumping stations.
  11. Use a nozzle on a garden hose to prevent water runoff when not in use.
  12. Evaporate rinse water from painting supplies and dispose of your waste.

For more tips, visit the Wenatchee Valley Stormwater Management Program website.

And remember, there is no difference between pouring pollutants down a storm drain and dumping them directly into a river.


Stormwater Management Plans & Reports

Chelan County Public Works, in addition to the Department of Ecology and the Environmental Protection Agency, is responsible for stormwater management in unincorporated Chelan County. In carrying out this responsibility, Chelan County Public Works plans, designs, and secures permits for new public drainage facilities, reviews private drainage system designs and maintains existing public storm drainage and surface water management facilities. The following plans and reports outline the county’s stormwater efforts:

Chelan County's Stormwater Management Plan:

Annual Reports to the Department of Ecology:

The Department of Ecology did not require a 2014 Annual Report.

Chelan County Surface and Stormwater Management Utility:

(Covers the unincorporated areas around Wenatchee)

Manson Area Stormwater Management Plan:

(Covers the Manson area)

Posted: 10/30/2014 03:56 PM
Last Updated: 03/25/2021 11:46 AM

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  • 15
    Dec 2021
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    Hearing Examiner - December 15, 2021

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    Boundary Review Board

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    Washington State University Extension
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    Coffee with Bob

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    A quarterly update for the Upper Valley community

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    Hearing Examiner - December 1, 2021

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