Seattle's Storm Water Application

by Neil F. Thibert, Seattle Engineering Dep, Seattle, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Management in the '90s: A Time for Innovation


Seattle is considered a large city under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) storm water permit regulations and was required to submit a storm water permit application on November 16, 1992. Assembling Seattle's application took months of work by several people, but this effort was much easier than it could have been. City staff had followed the development of the regulations closely and began preparing in advance. An existing drainage control ordinance was revised to provide adequate legal authority. Extensive mapping of the City's storm drains already existed. Sampling for storm water characterization was started in 1986. Public education and source control programs were under way. In putting this application together, Seattle outlined a series of programs that accomplish the intent of the regulations. The application has to provide adequate information to the Washington Department of Ecology to help them write a permit that addresses the specific water quality problems facing Seattle. The needs in a highly urbanized area are quite different from those in a rural area that is experiencing rapid growth, and the application has to provide enough information to allow the permitting agency to tailor the permit to those needs.

Subject Headings: Stormwater management | Water pollution | Water discharge | Urban areas | Permits | Laws and regulations | Aquatic habitats | Municipal water | Washington | United States | Seattle

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