Granite Falls Public Works
Surface Water Management
For stormwater related emergencies and to report illegal dumping or illicit discharges,
please call 360-691-6441. After normal business hours press option 3.
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, and 2) protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens. To accomplish these goals, the Granite Falls Public Works Department has developed a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) that will be implemented over the next few years. The Program complies with the Untied 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.
First, 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.
Second, 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:
- Public education and outreach
- Public involvement and participation
- Illicit discharge detection and elimination
- Controlling runoff from new development, redevelopment and construction sites
- 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.
Other Regulatory Considerations
NPDES Stormwater Permit Program
Western Washington Phase II Stormwater Permit
Regional Road Maintenance Program
Puget Sound Water Quality Management Plan
Tri-County 4(d) Stormwater Proposal
Ecology Stormwater Program
2005 Ecology Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington
Stormwater Management Program Documents:
The Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) will be evolving over the next few years and we need your input. Please review the documents below and let us know what you think.
- 2013 Stormwater Management Plan
- 2012 Western WA Phase II Permit Annual Compliance Report
2010 Stormwater LID Report
2010 LID Barriers
2010 Bacteria Pollution Control Plan
2010 Effectiveness Monitoring Plan
- 2011 Stormwater Community Survey Evaluation Report
What Is Stormwater?
Stormwater is rain water 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 turbdity. 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.
Storm water facilities are designed to reduce the impacts of storm water runoff by treating the runoff to reduce pollution and to reduce the harmful effects of increased runoff rates. There are approximately two dozen facilities in the City, some under private ownership and some owned and maintained by the City.
Storm water ponds are designed to treat the runoff and slowly release it. The ponds treat the runoff by maintaining a “wet pool” which allows sediment, and chemicals bound to the sediment, to settle in the pond so that they do not reach the streams and rivers. The ponds also reduce the runoff rate from storm events by restricting the outflow rate from the ponds. The water level in the ponds rises in response to rainfall events and then slowly drops back to the pre-storm level. Infiltration systems are similarly designed. Water discharges into the ground after treatment.
All new development, and redevelopment, is required to install storm water facilities if certain trigger levels are reached. The majority of the downtown portion of Granite Falls drains to Lake Gardner . New development in the downtown is required to treat the storm water before releasing from their property. The lake itself provides the storm runoff volume storage through the use of an outlet structure installed in 2006.
Educational and Summary Flyers
- Stormwater and the Construction Industry
- Lawn Care
- Fish Tank
- Solid Waste Disposal
- Illegal Dumping
- Appliance Disposal
- Low Impact Development
How You Can Help
You can help by being a part of the solution and not the problem. Below are a few ways that you can help Granite Falls ensure that our streams, Lake Gardner and the Pilchuck River stay clean and safe for generations to come.
- Properly dispose of hazardous waste and recycle used motor oil. Snohomish County operates a hazardous waste disposal and recycling site facility in Everett . In addition there are round up events in local communities. Check out this link to find a disposal site near you.
- Use fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides sparingly and follow the manufacturer's instructions or use natural yard care techniques.
- Keep yard waste, trash, and debris off the street and out of the gutters. You can help the flow of stormwater by adopting the catch basin closest to your home and regularly remove any accumulation of leaves and debris. You can also help by not raking or blowing leaves and debris into the streets.
- Clean up after your pets. Pet waste is a major source of bacteria and nutrients that are harmful to streams. Pick it up and dispose of it properly.
- Wash your car at a carwash facility or park your car in the grass before you wash it. The mixture of soap and grime that is created by washing your car is toxic to fish and other wildlife. If you use a carwash facility, the wash water is recycled and left over pollutants are sent to the sewage treatment plant.
- Get involved and be a part of the solution. Spread the word about protecting our streams and habitat from polluted runoff and help Granite Falls create a successful Stormwater Management Program. If you have any questions or comments about Granite Falls' Stormwater Management Program, please contact us.
Stormwater System and Maintenance
The Granite Falls stormwater conveyance system is designed to collect, treat, and slowly release stormwater to our streams and ground water supply. Regular maintenance of the system will help ensure proper function and meet water quality standards. However, all of us need to help by not putting bad stuff into the storm drainage system. If you are wondering whether or not it should go into the storm drainage system the answer is probably “No it should not!”
There are two challenges that affect every stormwater maintenance program. First, as the systems ages, it can require more frequent maintenance and repair. Second, every new development project adds more pipes and components to the system that needs to be maintained by Granite Falls . The City has developed several programs which are being implemented to keep our system functioning as designed
Annual Drainage Facility Inspection and Maintenance
Catch Basin Cleaning Program
Stormwater System Map 2010 System Map
Stormwater System Inventory as of 2010
|Granite Falls Storm System Inventory|
|Public Detention Facilities||19|
|Private Detention Facilities||5|
|Public Infiltration Facilities||3|
|Private Infiltration Facilities||5|
|Total Miles of Pipe||872||80,311||15.21|
|Pipe of Unknown Diameter||73||3,699||0.70|
The 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 the Stilly-Snohomish Fisheries Enhancement Task Force: http://www.stillysnofish.org/activities/index.html
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 . Bookmark this page and watch the Surface Water Management Section grow. Thank you for your support.