Stormwater is rain or snow melt that flows off roofs, yards, streets, and parking lots into streams, lakes, rivers, and wetlands. This runoff picks up contaminants, such as dirt, oil, fertilizers, pesticides, pet waste, and other chemicals on its way to our waterways, thus becoming polluted. To reduce flooding, slow down water flow, reduce erosion, and remove pollutants, various stormwater facilities are used. Clark County businesses share in the responsibility of maintaining facilities located on their property. For more information, see an Overview of Clark County’s Stormwater program or the Stormwater Website.
Prohibiting contaminants from entering stormwater is everyone’s responsibility. Pollution prevention best management practices are outlined in the Stormwater Manual under Source Control and include both operational and structural practices.
What does it mean to “manage” stormwater? Specially built landscaped and structural features – stormwater facilities – capture rain runoff. These features or facilities take many forms and could include detention ponds, infiltration basins, biofiltration swales, and sediment traps. For a complete list of facilities and to help identify the stormwater facility on your property, see Clark County’s Stormwater Facility Maintenance Manual or Stormwater Partners of SW Washington’s website.
EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
- Placing water protection messaging on stormwater drains is important; they act as reminders that this water may go directly to streams, where water quality will be affected by any pollutants. Check out Clark County’s Storm Drain Marking program or the City of Vancouver’s Only Rain in Drain medallion program.
- Washington Department of Ecology Industrial Stormwater Permit
- Clark County maintains a Stormwater Management Plan (2015) that serves as a resource and guides new development in our community to minimize impact to our waterways.
- Stormwater Partners of SW Washington maintains an informative website about stormwater, types of facilities, guidelines for maintenance, and other helpful resources.
Short videos: stormwater and business responsibilities
Cover - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Be prepared to contain and clean up spills
Wash water is wastewater. Spills of any kind should never be washed into a storm drain.
Maintaining your stormwater facility
Bob Patterson - Clark County Environmental Services (360) 397-2121 ext. 4493