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Stormwater

The Stormwater Division of the Public Works Department provides direction, technical expertise for storm water systems as well as maintain of storm water drainage facilities.

Our mission is to ensure the public’s health and safety and to protect the environment by establishing and enforcing standards for stormwater drainage and environmental protection.  

For information about Stormwater utility fees or your utility statement, please click here to visit Utility Account page.


What is Storm water?

Storm water is rainfall, snowmelt, or any precipitation, that is not absorbed into the soil. It runs off rooftops, over sidewalks, down street curbs and across parking lots, eventually entering our local streams, creeks, and river.

In cities and towns, impervious surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, and roofs prevent storm water from naturally soaking into the ground. This runoff then picks up pollutants like oil, gas, fertilizer, and sediment before flowing into storm drains and local streams. Storm water run-off is highly regulated by the Washington State Department of Ecology through the Clean Water Act. 

Managing Stormwater Run-Off

The city’s storm water drainage system is the managed infrastructure that collects, detains and treats storm water run-off. In addition to maintaining these facilities, the city also inspects private facilities and investigate illicit discharge.

The Ridgefield Stormwater Utility was created to maintain Storm water facilities and regulate the flow of surface water and storm water within the city limits. Storm water Utility codes may be found in Chapter 13.75 of the Ridgefield Municipal Code. To cover the costs of the utility, all parcels within the City of Ridgefield are charged a storm water service charge, outlined in the Municipal Code.

The Ridgefield Stormwater Management Plan guides future decisions for planning, funding and implementing the City’s stormwater program.

Have questions about stormwater? Email stormwater@ridgefieldwa.us to get in touch with our Ridgefield stormwater team!

Expand each segments below to learn more about the City of Ridgefield’s programs for managing storm water run-off:

Rain gardens are areas that collect rainwater and use soil and specific plants to filter the water and let it reabsorb into the soil.
The City maintains 40 rain gardens.Informational cross section diagram of a rain garden showing the different components that filter and drain water.

A retention or infiltration pond collects stormwater and allows the water to soak into the soil. These facilities store rainwater from a storm and slowly release the water downstream.

Diagram showing a catch basin stormwater drain with a grate and outlets.A catch basin collects rainfall and runoff surface water and transports it through the stormwater system to our local waterways.

The City has over 1800 catch basins.

During the leafy season in the Fall, catch basins can become plugged. The City works hard to ensure the basins are cleared in order to allow stormwater runoff to flow into the catch basins. City Code prohibits placing leaves from private property into the right-of-way, which can contribute to plugged catch basins.

Citizens can assist the City by raking leaves and debris away from the catch basins. Stand on the curb or private property side of the catch basin and use a fork or rake to clear leaves, limbs, and debris from the catch basin. Do not attempt to remove the grate, only the debris on top of the grate.

The city maintains over 35 miles of pipe to transport runoff water collected in catch basins through treatment facilities such as filter vaults and into our creeks and wetlands.

Diagram with a birds eye view and side profile of a Filter Vault showing the direction of water flow.A filter vault contains cartridges that help remove pollutants from collected water before it returns to our local waterways.
The City has 20 filter vaults/basins.

Photo of the filter basin at S Main with the grates off.

Street sweeping helps keep sediment, leaves and other debris and pollutants out of the stormwater system, which generally flow to our creeks and rivers. It also helps to prevent localized flooding due to clogged drainage catch basins.  You can help protect water quality and improve our community by keeping streets free of litter and debris.

Two workers have the long hose of the vacuum truck in a catch basin to clean the basin.A Vacuum Truck or Vac Truck, is a truck with a tank and a pump. The truck pumps liquid and debris into the tank where it can then be transported to a treatment facility. 

The City’s Vac Truck is one of the most important tools the workers use to maintain the storm water system. It is used to remove debris from catch basins, manholes, and sediment traps. When the truck is full, the maintenance crew drives the truck to a treatment facility in Vancouver where the debris is separated from the water and disposed. 

The City’s Vac Truck also has the ability to flush and clean storm water lines/pipes. The large hose on the reel on the front of the truck can be inserted into a clogged pipe and high pressure water is forced into the pipe, clearing debris and restoring flow.

The city inspects private stormwater facilities, such as swales, and works with property owners to ensure the facilities are in compliance with state regulations.

Illicit discharge is the release of contaminants into the storm water system. The city is required to investigate and report incidents involving illicit discharge.

Residents can report illicit discharge to staff by submitting an Online Service Request.

You Play an Important Role

Residents and businesses play an important role in protecting our streams and rivers. See our Stormwater Education page for information on how everyday activities affect our surrounding waterways and the steps you can take to minimize harmful impacts.

Contact Information

Public Works Department
510 Pioneer St., Suite B
Ridgefield, WA 98642
Phone: (360) 887-8251
Fax: (360) 887-2507

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