The Stormwater Utility maintains approximately 2,069 catch basins, 307 manholes and 50.14 miles of underground pipe. The City of Ellensburg operates a stormwater utility whose revenues pay for cleaning the system street sweeping, operation and maintenance, capital projects, including such activities such as the Illicit Discharge Elimination Program, and providing public education on the effects of stormwater on water quality in our rivers and streams.
The Stormwater Utility at the City of Ellensburg is performing a 2 yearlong study to determine if street sweeping is more effective at removing solids over catch basin cleaning. The study is required by the Department of Ecology as an NPDES permit requirement under S8 Monitoring and Effectiveness.
The Stormwater Utility is governed by an Eastern Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit which was issued in January 2007. The State of Washington Department of Ecology issued the permit. Stormwater utility rates are established each calendar year.
View current stormwater rates.
Education and Outreach
The Stormwater Utility provides education and outreach opportunities throughout Ellensburg. We inform students of all ages about the impact rain, snowmelt, and wash water has on rivers and streams.
Individuals can do a lot to help keep our waterways clean:
Request your FREE Car Wash Kit by calling Jon Morrow (509) 925-8619. View our public service announcement video that shows how to set up the car wash kit.
Volunteer. We invite you to be a storm drain stencil volunteer - "Dump no Waste - Drains to River". Call Jon Morrow for more information: (509) 925-8619.
Meeting Permit Requirements
Illicit Discharge Detection Elimination is performed by monitoring stormwater in Wilson and Mercer Creek twice a week for temperature, bacteria, and flow. We respond to all citizen inquiries, and investigate, as needed.
We inspect swales post construction on an annual basis.
Operation and Maintenance crews inspect and clean 2069 catch basins, 307 manholes and 50.14 miles of pipe every four years. Since 2013, the system has been cleaned in its entirety.
Future floodplain: The Utility has acquired 5 lots west of Enterprise way at CenterPoint Business Park in 2018. The acquisition was funded by the Department of Ecology’s Floodplain BY Design program. The Utility is currently writing another grant to acquire the remaining parcels to someday extend the levee from Dolarway up to the Burlington Northern Railway. The project will add another 35-foot box culvert at the base of Enterprise Way to move floodwaters south of Dolarway into the existing floodplain protected by a levee. Once the levee is constructed up to the railway, flooding in West Ellensburg will be mitigated and cease to exist. Anticipated project completion is 2020.
Gateway Project: The Utility received a grant from the Department of Ecology for 2.7 million dollars to treat and infiltrate approximately two miles of stormwater on University Way from Wenas Street to the Red Horse Diner. In both directions the behind the existing curb rock lined swales will be installed along with decorative street trees. Behind the street trees will be pedestrian/bicycle paths on both sides. The project is slated for completion in 2022.