The City owns, operates and maintains the drainage, or storm water system, consisting of conveyance assets (pipes, culverts, catch basins, and inlets), storm water ponds, and storm water treatment facilities.
The City has approximately 82,000 linear feet (15.5 miles) of storm water system pipes and major culverts. Approximately 820 catch basins and 160 inlets are located throughout the service area (from City of Sultan Comprehensive Plan updated September 25, 2008). Grass-lined ditches are also part of the storm water collection system.
In addition to the conveyance assets, the City owns and maintains infiltration facilities and retention ponds. Approximately thirteen (13) such facilities are owned and operated by the City. There are numerous privately-owned storm water facilities scattered throughout the City of Sultan service area including approximately 44 privately-owned ponds in the Sultan Urban Growth Area (UGA).
A storm water utility is essentially a special assessment district set up to generate funding specifically for surface water management. Users within the district pay a surface water fee, and the revenue generated directly supports maintenance and upgrades of existing storm drain systems; development of drainage plans, flood control measures, and water-quality programs; administrative costs; and sometimes construction of major capital improvements. Unlike a storm water program that draws on the general tax fund or uses property taxes for revenue, the people who benefit are the only ones who pay.
Surface water management within the City is governed by federal, state, regional, county and city laws including the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, the Growth Management Act, Shoreline Management Act, State Environmental Policy Act, Storm Water Management Performance Standards, and Puget Sound Water Quality Action Plan.
Services provided include on-going maintenance of city owned facilities, vactoring manholes and catch basins to remove sediment and increase system capacity. The utility also provides funds to repair and/or replace failing culverts to reduce flooding.