The City of Wenatchee owns and maintains a stormwater utility. The utility includes catch basins in the street, and an underground network of pipes that transport stormwater to 14 outfalls, of which 12 drain directly to the Columbia River. The City’s stormwater system also includes other stormwater control mechanisms including ponds, swales, tree boxes, and filters to promote infiltration of stormwater into the ground and treatment before it reaches the river. The entire stormwater system is intended to carry only rain water and snow melt. Garbage, wastewater, wash water, oil, paint, and all other types of waste and chemicals are prohibited from discharge to the stormwater system. Non-stormwater discharges can cause blockages to stormwater pipes and water quality concerns when the material reaches the river.
Since February of 2007, the City of Wenatchee, Chelan County, Douglas County, and the City of East Wenatchee have operated their stormwater utilities under the Eastern Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit. The permit requires each jurisdiction to implement a stormwater program with the goal of reducing the amount of pollution in stormwater. The current will expire in 2019 and a reissuance will follow.
To share resources and implement a consistent regional stormwater program, representatives from both cities and both counties have been working together to meet the requirements of the permit. This group is called the Wenatchee Valley Stormwater Technical Advisory Committee (WVSTAC). For the latest information regarding the regional stormwater program please visit the WVSTAC page.
Stormwater Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I go to report something?
We want to hear from you! If you have a stormwater comment, complaint, or compliment, please fill out an online Citizen Request.
Keeping our stormwater system free of pollution is a priority! To report a spill or stormwater concern, please call our Stormwater Hotline at (509)888-3235. For after-hours emergencies please call 1-800-374-5632.
Is washing my car at home prohibited?
No, you can continue to wash your car at home, but wash your car sensibly so the soapy water does not get into storm drains. If possible, wash your car on grass or a gravel area so the wash water can filter into the ground. Use a hose with a shut-off nozzle to reduce the amount of water used. Pour soapy water into a sink or an area where it can filter in the ground instead of down the storm drain. For more helpful tips on how to wash your vehicle without allowing stormwater pollution, visit our Vehicle Washing page.
How does pet waste relate to stormwater pollution?
Improperly handled pet waste can cause a variety issues. Pollutants released by pet wastes can be linked to a variety of water quality and health issues. To learn more about the effects that pet waste has on water quality and what you can do to prevent pet waste from causing stormwater pollution, visit our Pet Waste Page. Scoop it, Bag it, Trash it!
What impact do cars have on stormwater?
If your car has an oil leak, it is not only bad for your car, it also pollutes our local waterways, the Columbia River. Automotive fluids contain toxic pollutants and when drips from leaking vehicles fall on roads, driveways, and parking lots, they eventually get washed into the Columbia River through the stormwater system. Don’t Drip and Drive! To find out what you can do to prevent automotive fluids from polluting our water ways, visit our Automotive Page.
Can I discharge my pool or hot tub water?
Even at extremely low levels, the chemicals used to maintain pools and hot tubs can hurt plants and aquatic life in our local rivers. In the Wenatchee Valley, many of the storm drains drain directly to the Columbia River. Special care should be taken when draining a swimming pool or hot rub to minimize the effect to the environment. For the Discharge Requirements for swimming pool and hot tub water discharge requirements, visit our Swimming Pool page.
Stormwater and Construction
January 1, 2018, the City made revision the Wenatchee City Code 12.10. This section of the code discusses the requirement for new and redevelopment projects. The amendments to the code include the allowance of non-structural runoff controls including Low Impact Development (LID) techniques. Additionally the revision to the code includes requiring project one acre in size and larger to retain onsite the 10-year, 24-hour rain event. For additional information, see the following links:
- Illicit Discharge Code
- Construction and Post-Construction Stormwater Code
- Ecology Construction Stormwater Page