Stormwater Utility

The Stormwater Utility maintains approximately 2,386 catch basins, 311 manholes and 59.03 miles of underground pipe. The City of Ellensburg operates a stormwater utility whose revenues pay for cleaning the system street sweeping, operation and maintenance, capital projects, including such activities such as the Illicit Discharge Elimination Program, and providing public education on the effects of stormwater on water quality in our rivers and streams.

The Stormwater Utility is governed by an Eastern Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit which was issued in January 2007. The State of Washington Department of Ecology issued the permit. Stormwater utility rates are established each calendar year.

View current stormwater rates.

Education and Outreach

The Stormwater Utility provides education and outreach opportunities throughout Ellensburg. We inform students of all ages about the impact rain, snowmelt, and wash water has on rivers and streams.

Some examples of our outreach
Bill inserts (ENGLISH) (SPANISH)

Daily Record article featuring Valley View Elementary students

Meeting Permit Requirements

Illicit Discharge Detection Elimination is performed by monitoring stormwater in Wilson and Mercer Creek twice a week for temperature, bacteria, and flow. We respond to all citizen inquiries,  and investigate, as needed.

We inspect swales post construction on an annual basis.

Operation and Maintenance crews inspect and clean 2386 catch basins, 311 manholes and 49.03 miles of pipe every four years. Since 2013, the system has been cleaned in its entirety.

Future floodplain:  The Utility has acquired 5 lots west of Enterprise way at CenterPoint Business Park in 2018. The acquisition was funded by the Department of Ecology’s Floodplain BY Design program. In 2021, the Utility bonded $5 million to buy 56 acres above the business lots to build a 35-foot box culvert at the base of Enterprise Way to move floodwaters south of Dolarway into the existing floodplain protected by a levee. The culvert was completed in 2023. Once the levee is constructed up to the railway, flooding in West Ellensburg will be mitigated. Anticipated project completion is 2024.

Gateway I Project:  The Utility received a notification of grant award from the Washington State Department of Ecology in the amount of up to $2.7 million dollars to fund work along University Way (from Wenas Street to the Red Horse Diner) resulting in the treatment and infiltration of approximately two miles of stormwater. The project features the installation of curb rock lined swales along with decorative street trees, and pedestrian/bicycle paths on both sides. The project reached substantial completion in 2023. The contractor will be back in spring 2024 to complete a punch list and the project will be finalized in 2024.