Stormwater Division

The Stormwater Division of the Public Works Department at the City of Ellensburg maintains approximately 2,500 catch basins and manholes in the public right of way, is comprised of 100 miles of underground pipe, and discharges to ninety outfalls in local streams. In newer parts of the city bio-swales capture, slow velocity of, and treat stormwater prior to discharging into the city's stormwater system. The City of Ellensburg operates a stormwater utility whose revenues are used to comply with the stormwater permit, 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.

Effectiveness Monitoring

The Stormwater Program at the City of Ellensburg is performing a five-month study to determine the impact street sweeping and catch basin cleaning has on the removal wind driven dirt, sand, and grit. 

View the proposed study online.

The Stormwater Division 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 this year's stormwater rates.

Education and Outreach

The Stormwater Division provides education and outreach opportunities throughout Ellensburg. We inform students of all ages about the impact rain, snow melt, 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.
Some examples of our outreach

Bill inserts (ENGLISH) (SPANISH)
Radio interview about stormwater on Ellensburg Community Radio October 2016
Daily Record article featuring Valley View Elementary students

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.

Operations and maintenance crews inspect approximately 2500 catch basins and manholes and 100 miles of underground pipe during cleaning season (usually April - September) for flow, odor, sheen, color, and floatables. Annually, 800 tons of solids are removed from city streets, catch basins, and man holes through street sweeping and catch basin cleaning. Since 2013 two-thirds of the stormwater system has been cleaned. Absent these efforts the creeks and rivers in our community would receive increased amounts of pollutants, adversely impacting fish, wildlife, and recreation.

Future floodplain project on Reecer and Currier Creeks between Dolarway and University: This $1.6 million project, co-funded by Washington State Dept of Ecology and the City of Ellensburg, realigns Currier Creek with Reecer Creek to bring these water courses together at more natural angles thereby reducing velocity; build flood control overflow swales to accommodate high water, direct overflows to a levy system, and restore natural habitat. Project anticipated completion is end of year 2018.