Seattle Stormwater Management and Rainwater Collection

Space_Needle_Mount_Ranier_Seattle_Washington_USA

The EPA defines Stormwater as water that originates during precipitation events and snow/ice melt. Without proper management, stormwater can soak into the soil (infiltrate), be held on the surface and evaporate, or runoff and end up in nearby streams, rivers, or other water bodies (surface water). In natural landscapes such as forests, the soil absorbs much of the stormwater and plants help hold stormwater close to where it falls. In developed environments, unmanaged stormwater can create two major issues: one related to the volume and timing of runoff water (flooding) and the other related to potential contaminants that the water is carrying (water pollution).

natural__impervious_cover_diagrams_epa

Seattle 2016 stormwater regulations protect people, property, and the environment from damage caused by stormwater runoff. Our stormwater codes also satisfy the City’s obligation to comply with our Municipal Stormwater Discharge National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit, issued by the Washington State Department of Ecology.

The practice of rainwater collection is recognized as an integral part of storm water management as defined by Seattle public Utilities.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) includes stormwater best management practices (BMPs) designed to reduce runoff from development using infiltration, evapotranspiration, and/or stormwater reuse. To be considered Green Stormwater Infrastructure, it must provide a function in addition to stormwater management such as water reuse, providing greenspace and/or habitat in the city. Examples of green stormwater infrastructure include trees, bioretention facilities, rain gardens, permeable pavement, vegetated roofs, and rainwater harvesting.

In the stormwater code, all Green Stormwater Infrastructure are considered on-site Stormwater Management BMPs and can be used to comply with the on-site Stormwater Management Requirement, Minimum Requirements for Flow Control, Minimum Requirements for Treatment, or all three, depending on how they are designed and constructed. All projects are required to implement On-site Stormwater Management BMPs to the maximum extent feasible for flow control and water quality treatment. This means that On-site Stormwater Management BMPs must be incorporated throughout the project site wherever feasible, constrained only by the physical limitations of the site and practical considerations of engineering design and necessary business practices.

For more information, visit:

NPDES Stormwater Program | National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) | US EPA

The NPDES stormwater program regulates some stormwater discharges from three potential sources: municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), construction activities, and industrial activities. Operators of these sources might be required to obtain an NPDES permit before they can discharge stormwater. This permitting mechanism is designed to prevent stormwater runoff from washing harmful pollutants into local surface waters.

 

Stormwater Code – Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections

Our stormwater regulations protect people, property, and the environment from damage caused by stormwater runoff. Our stormwater codes also satisfy the City’s obligation to comply with our Municipal Stormwater Discharge National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit, issued by the Washington State Department of Ecology.

 

Stormwater Code–Seattle Public Utilities

In the stormwater code, all Green Stormwater Infrastructure are considered On-site Stormwater Management BMPs and can be used to comply with the On-site Stormwater Management Requirement, Minimum Requirements for Flow Control, Minimum Requirements for Treatment, or all three, depending on how they are designed and constructed.

 

Ken Blair
A rainwater collection systems designer and consultant, Ken has designed and installed residential and commercial systems, primarily in the northwest United States for more than 10 years and, in 2014, began consulting and managing builds in other states. Ken is an accredited ARCSA Professional Designer / Installer and Life Member, the Northwest Regional ARCSA representative and advisor to its education committee and is available to speak about Rainwater Collection Systems design and builds.

Ken is a United States Navy veteran, having served on active duty during the Vietnam War era.

A career entrepreneur, Ken created a new business focus with a commercial dive company in Hawaii in the mid 1980′s to respond to and clean up oil spills, oil spill equipment training, service and maintenance for the oil co-op service industry. Ken is passionate about having a positive impact on the environment and is also a founding director of BANK-ON-RAIN (2011-2014), whose mission is to create grassroots solutions for rainwater collection for consumption and agriculture in developing areas of the planet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *