Some neighborhoods and businesses have private stormwater systems (PSS) that collect, convey, treat and recycle the stormwater from their property. These private systems are generally owned, inspected, and maintained by the Homeowners' Association (HOA) or commercial property owner.
It is important for all stormwater systems to be inspected yearly and maintained. Regular maintenance ensures your system is functioning properly and can help to save you money in the long run. Commercial property owners, homeowners, or homeowner's associations are responsible for providing regular maintenance of privately owned ponds, storm drains, pipes, and other drainage system components that serve the property or subdivision.
You can use our Private Stormwater System Manual and Inspection Checklist to help you complete your yearly inspection. It’s important to keep records of your yearly inspection checklist and any maintenance performed. You may need to hire a private contractor to help with some of the maintenance.
Whatcom County Public Works is looking for several HOAs to participate in our new PSS pilot program this summer. The goal of the program is to help you evaluate your systems' maintenance needs, understand your obligations, ensure that facilities are maintained according to the approved development requirements, and develop an efficient process for tracking inspection records and maintenance requirements.
Public Works staff will provide the following services to pilot program participants:
Assess the condition of their PSS through review or completion of a professional inspection report
Identify specific maintenance/repair actions and recommended timeframes
Assist property owners with necessary permit applications
Coordinate with engineers/consultants on maintenance activities
Oversee project activities to ensure:
Appropriate best management practices (BMPs) are implemented during the various stages of work
All relevant codes (e.g., seasonal clearing restrictions, shorelines, critical areas, etc.) and permit requirements (e.g., proper site plans, disposal, documentation, etc.) are followed
That the maintenance actions do not alter the approved function of the PSS
Provide additional technical support as needed and identify when to seek professional help
How else can this pilot program benefit you?
For approved maintenance activities conducted through this pilot program, Land Disturbance Permit (LDP) fees will be waived. In the future, we may also be able to provide a stormwater utility service charge adjustment for participating property owners, which would reduce your annual property tax bill.
If you are interested in learning more about the pilot program, click here and fill out the contact form.
A breakdown of the main components that make-up a stormwater system and the possible maintenance associated with each component.
Whatcom County is compiling a list of contractors who provide services related to stormwater facility maintenance, i.e. catch basin/manhole cleaning and/or repair, detention pond maintenance, storm pipe jetting and/or repair, vegetative management and engineering services, etc. Please fill out the online form including all required fields to be added to the list. Contact Kyle Kulm with any questions at KKulm@co.whatcom.wa.us or 360-778-6308.