Stormwater Needs Assessment
Compared to many cities, the City of Sequim is fortunate to have relatively few flooding problems. Our glacial soils are very good at absorbing stormwater in many areas. However, as many know too well, there are big problems when we get a major storm, or when rapidly-melting snow overwhelms the infiltration capacity of the ground.
In 2013-14, Sequim Public Works identified so-called "problem areas" and documented physical and operational stormwater management concerns in a report, "City of Sequim Stormwater Management Needs Assessment (PDF)." (Click title to link to the 3 MB report; the Figures are a separate 6 MB file.) Major findings of the Needs Assessment project were presented to City Council at a study session on March 10, 2014. Click here to see that slideshow presentation.
The study was a pro-active effort directly related to the City’s responsibility to protect existing infrastructure and efficiently manage water resources as the urban area grows. Identified needs are being prioritized and examined for feasibility as funding becomes available, due to the City's limited resources.
For our first Stormwater Master Plan, a Centennial Clean Water grant with 75% reimbursement was obtained to help cover staff and consultant costs. A contractor, Herrera Environmental, was hired to help the City determine solutions for issues identified in the Needs Assessment - and ways to pay for them. The City’s Sewer and Water Utility Funds currently pay the cost of managing stormwater.
With this Plan Sequim joins the ranks of most local governments in addressing how to balance problems of water quality and quantity: too much water at certain times and places with shortages at other times and places. The Plan may also be used by the state to determine the likelihood that additional regulations will be imposed, and when.
Sequim Public Works worked with Clallam County and irrigation managers throughout the planning process since stormwater is a regional issue.
Note that there is a related project sponsored by the City in 2009 which explored how "Low Impact Development" requirements might look if the City chose to fully utilize those options for managing stormwater. L.I.D., also known as "green infrastructure" (as compared to gray pipelines), focuses on infiltration and is very effective where soils can handle it. See the results of that study (PDF).
Examples of stormwater concerns
Opportunities for Input and Involvement
View public events related to surface water management by the City of Sequim.
Ann Soule, Resource Manager, may be reached by calling 360-582-2436 or emailing Ann Soule.