Western WA Municipal Stormwater Permit

Permit guidelines

The Washington State Department of Ecology (WDOE) issued the Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit in January of 2007. Now, five counties and 81 cities in Western Washington, including the City of Olympia, must follow the guidelines in this Permit to manage stormwater before it discharges to surface and groundwater.

The Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit stems from the federal Clean Water Act and shares its intent to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of our nation's waters. It combines requirements from the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II Permit program and the State of Washington Water Pollution Control Law (RCW 90.48).

Required actions

The City of Olympia is required to take certain actions to remain compliant with the Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit. Olympia is committed to managing stormwater before it discharges to surface and groundwater.

To meet the Permit requirements, the City will continue to develop, monitor, and report on the following five programs:

The permit requires a public education and outreach program with the goal "to reduce or eliminate behaviors and practices that cause or contribute to adverse stormwater impacts." For more information, and to find out how you can get involved, see our Preventing Stormwater Pollution Prevention webpage.

The Permit requires ongoing opportunities for public involvement in all aspects of the Stormwater Management Program (SWMP). Olympia is committed to encouraging public involvement in all of its programs. We use community surveys, interviews, public workshops, and meetings, and welcome all comments and input from the public.

The City depends on its Advisory Committees to provide detailed public input and guidance on municipal policies and issues. The Utility Advisory Committee in particular provides critical public input on policies impacting storm and surface waters. Interested in joining a committee? Visit the Advisory Committees website for more information.

The Permit requires an ongoing program to detect and eliminate illicit connections and discharges to the City's stormwater system. We are currently working to develop a comprehensive Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) Program to do just that. We are improving our maps, receiving training, and drafting new policies and procedures for detecting illicit discharges, responding to spills, and conducting investigative monitoring.

You can help by reporting spills or any suspicious discharges to Olympia's stormwater system, streets, ditches, streams, and wetlands. To report spills or suspicious discharges, call 360.753.8333 (24-hour messaging is available). Anonymous calls are accepted

The Permit requires an ongoing program to reduce stormwater pollutants from runoff associated with new development, redevelopment, and construction site activities. Olympia's Drainage Design and Erosion Control Manual fulfills most of the requirements of this Permit section. The City also provides a full range of permitting services for new development, redevelopment, and construction sites that are consistent with Permit requirements.

The Permit requires an operations and maintenance (O&M) program designed to prevent or reduce pollutant runoff from municipal operations. The City has a comprehensive O&M program for all public lands including parks, streets, utilities, rights-of-way, and undeveloped areas. For more information see the Private Stormwater System Maintenance webpage.


Contact Jeremy Graham at 360.753.8097 or jgraham@ci.olympia.wa.us