For Stormwater related emergencies and to report illegal dumping or illicit discharges,
please call 360-691-6441 or 911.
What Is Stormwater?
Stormwater is rainwater that runs off surfaces such as rooftops, lawns, driveways, paved streets, and parking lots. Urbanization has two major impacts on stormwater runoff. First, it increases the rate and volume of runoff relative to a predeveloped condition. The increased runoff rate increases the flow rate in rivers and streams causing streambed scouring, streambank erosion and increased turbidity. Second, when runoff flows over roads, parking lots, driveways and lawns it picks up harmful pollutants such as oils, greases, pesticides, fertilizers, pet waste, toxic metals, and other chemicals. This polluted runoff enters the stormwater conveyance system. Much of downtown Granite Falls discharges to Lake Gardner, prior to draining to the Pilchuck River.
Stormwater System Map 2014 System Map
The primary goals of the City of Granite Falls Surface Water Management program are to:
1. Preserve the surface water resources within the Granite Falls vicinity.
2. Protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens.
The Program complies with the United States National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), which is a part of the 1987 Clean Water Act. Historically Stormwater regulations have set minimum standards for the treatment and discharge of Stormwater runoff. These regulations have changed through time based upon lessons learned and, with increased computing power, the ability to better analyze the impacts of storms and storm water discharges. Two significant changes have occurred in the past few years:
1. The Washington Department of Ecology, developed a new Stormwater Management Manual in 2005. This manual, which has been adopted by Granite Falls, provides significant information, and sets minimum standards regarding Stormwater treatment and detention as well as issues related to erosion control during construction.
2. The Washington Department of Ecology adopted the NPDES Western Washington Phase II Stormwater Permit on January 17, 2007 . This permit was issued to 80 Cities and 5 Counties in Western Washington . The Phase I permit is for larger Cities and Counties and a Phase II Permit for small jurisdictions like Granite Falls . The main goal of the NPDES program is to effectively prohibit non-stormwater discharges into “waters of the state” and to reduce the discharge of pollutants into the stormwater conveyance system.
The Phase II Permit is divided into five main program elements:
1. Public education and outreach
2. Public involvement and participation
3. Illicit discharge detection and elimination
4. Controlling runoff from new development, redevelopment and construction sites
5. Pollution prevention and operation and maintenance for municipal operations
The permit’s five program elements are designed to be a set of guidelines for municipalities to follow to help reduce the harmful effects that polluted runoff has on the water quality of lakes, rivers, and streams in Washington . Ecology has given permittees several years to develop and fully implement programs that will comply with the permit. By taking a proactive approach with permit compliance, Granite Falls will be helping to protect Lake Gardner and the salmon and trout habitat in the Pilchuck River . We need your input. If you have ideas or suggestions that might help us with the five program elements, please contact us.
The City of Granite Falls, is always looking for opportunities to work with volunteers. Public Works is currently developing several volunteer programs, but we need your help. If you have ideas for possible surface water volunteer projects or programs or would like to volunteer your time, please contact us. Volunteer opportunities are also available through Sound Salmon Solutions. We want the citizens of Granite Falls to be an active part of the Surface Water Management Program. Your input and help will shape the future of surface water quality in Granite Falls .
How you can help
NPDES Stormwater Permit Program
Western Washington Phase II Stormwater Permit
Puget Sound Water Quality Management Plan
Ecology Stormwater Program
2012 Ecology Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington
LID Technical Guidance Manual
2017 Stormwater Management Plan
2016 NPDES Phase II Annual Report
Stormwater and the Construction Industry
Tips for Lawn Care