Private Stormwater Facility Annual Certification Program

Swale Maintenance

Stormwater treatment facilities (i.e. swales and bioretention cells) are an example of Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI), which comes in many shapes and sizes that vary from simple roadside swales to constructed wetlands to large infiltration ponds that double as recreation areas except right after a rain event. Swales and other GSI around the City of Spokane provide treatment to stormwater by capturing runoff and temporarily storing it to allow it to slowly infiltrate into the ground. These stormwater facilities must be maintained in order for the vegetation, soil, and soil microbes that are present by design to remove pollutants from the runoff as it percolates into the ground. The maintenance responsibilities for stormwater treatment facilities can be either public, private, or a combination of both. The City maintains the large majority of stormwater facilities in the public right of ways with assistance from the adjacent property owners, but does not maintain stormwater facilities on private properties. Maintenance of stormwater facilities on private property is the responsibility of the property owner, who should ensure that the facility is appropriately maintained and is functioning as designed to protect water quality.

Well-maintained Stormwater Facility Examples

Healthy vegetation, no nuisance plants, minimal sediment/debris, clear inlet, clear overflow drywell

Poorly maintained Stormwater Facility Examples

Overgrown vegetation, nuisance plants. Trash in stormwater facility, leaf buildup, blocked outlet.

Certification of Private Stormwater Facilities

Stormwater in the City of Spokane is regulated by the Eastern Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater permit, issued by the Washington Department of Ecology. The permit requires the treatment of stormwater runoff for the protection of water quality. Stormwater runoff on private property is required to be managed onsite with stormwater treatment facilities such as swales, dry ponds, infiltration galleries, etc. The facilities remove pollutants from stormwater and minimize local flooding.

In accordance with the permit, Spokane Municipal Code Section 17D.060.140.E1 requires the annual certification of applicable private stormwater facilities by a qualified third party professional stormwater inspector. The annual certifications demonstrate that adequate maintenance is being performed, and that the facility is functioning as designed.

For detailed maintenance criteria on the specific components of stormwater treatment facilities, see Appendix 5-A of the Stormwater Management Manual for Eastern Washington.

Some qualified inspection and certification service providers are identified below. It is not required for the private property owner/operator to use one of the identified service providers, but the certifier must be a third party qualified stormwater professional.

Private stormwater treatment facilities should be inspected between the months of March and October by a third party qualified stormwater professional. The Private Stormwater Facility Annual Certification form should be completed by the certifying inspector, and submitted online using the Spokane Accela Citizens Access portal, or returned to the Wastewater Management Department at the address below within 90 days of the inspection.

Stormwater Facility Certifications
Wastewater Management Department
909 East Sprague
Spokane, WA 99202

Certification Process

The certification process is intended to be straightforward and easy to complete. The first step in the process is to find a qualified third party stormwater professional who is available to inspect and certify the facility. Next, the stormwater professional should perform the inspection, and complete the certification form following the instructions printed on it. The final step is to submit the complete signed form online, or directly to the Wastewater Management Department via mail.

Certification Process

Private stormwater facility certification process

Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I required to have my stormwater facility inspected and certified?

The Washington Department of Ecology issued the Eastern Washington Municipal Stormwater permit to the City of Spokane in order to protect water quality. The permit requires recurring inspections of structural Best Management Practices (BMPs) to ensure that adequate maintenance is being performed, and that the facility is functioning as designed. Structural BMPs include swales, bioretention cells, infiltration ponds, drywells, etc., each of which is considered a "stormwater facility".

Where does it say this is a requirement?

Spokane Municipal Code Chapter 17D, Section 17D0.060.140.E.1 - Runoff and Infiltration Controls, requires the annual certification of private stormwater facilities. The municipal code was updated on December 2, 2021 following approval from City Council.

Why is my property included in this requirement?

The City's municipal stormwater permit provides the applicability criteria for private stormwaterfacilities that require annual certification. Applicable properties meet the following criteria:

  • Stormwater facility receives runoff from private property;
  • Private property was developed/redeveloped in 2011 or later; and
  • Development was ≥ 1 acre, or part of a larger development plan.
What is a qualified stormwater professional?

A qualified stormwater professional is an environmental professional licensed to do business in the State of Washington that is qualified to assess stormwater assets at the site level based on their education and/or experience with stormwater management.

Why must a third party stormwater professional inspect and certify my stormwater facility?

The municipal stormwater permit issued to the City of Spokane by the Washington State Department of Ecology requires that annual certifications for stormwater facilities are provided by a "qualified third party", which is a person who is not affiliated with the owner or operator of the property in question, that is a qualified stormwater professional.

Where can I find a qualified third party stormwater professionals who offer facility certification services?

Many engineering and environmental consulting firms have qualified stormwater professionals on staff. In order to assist property owners with identifying available stormwater professionals, some available Spokane Area certification service providers are identified below.

Do I have to use one of the stormwater facility certifiers from the flyer or the service providers listed on the stormwate website?

No, applicable private properties are not required to select a stormwater facility certification provider from the vendors below. However, the person who provides the certification must be a qualified third party stormwater professional.

What happens if I choose not to have my stormwater facility certified?

The certification of private stormwater facilities is required by the Spokane Municipal Code Section 17D0.060.140.E.1, and the requirement is enforceable as detailed in Section 17D.060.075 - Enforcement Tracks of the municipal code, which could include actions by Code Enforcement and/or the Legal Department.

Spokane Area Certification Service Providers

This vendor list is provided as an informational resource only. The City of Spokane does not endorse or prefer any specific service providers.

AHBL logo
AHBL, Inc.

Phone: 509.252.5019
Contact: Erick Fitzpatrick, PE

AllWest logo

Phone: 509.534.4411
Contact: Cindy Slocumb

Boston Harbor Services Inc logo
Boston Harbor Services, Inc

Phone: 360.999.3924
Contact: Ryan Niemi

Budinger & Associates logo
Budinger & Associates

Phone: 509.535.8841
Contact: Thomas Pendall

Evergreen StormH2O logo
Evergreen StormH2O

Phone: 509.995.0557
Contact: Aimee Navickis-Brasch

Fulcrum Environmental Consulting logo
Fulcrum Environmental Consulting

Phone: 509.459.9220
Contact: Scott Groat

Landau Associates logo
Landau Associates

Phone: 509.444.9428
Contact: Shane Kostka

McCanna Engineering logo
McCanna Engineering

Phone: 509.954.6604
Contact: Bowie McCanna

Sandis  Engineering logo
Sandis Engineering

Phone: 509.808.1971
Contact: Kelly Johnson

SCJ Alliance Consulting Services logo
SCJ Alliance Consulting Services

Phone: 509.434.9200
Contact: Scott Rivas

Spokane Environmental Solutions logo
Spokane Environmental Solutions

Phone: 509.818.7859
Contact: Brandon Kautzman

Storhaug Engineering logo
Storhaug Engineering

Phone: 509.242.1000
Contact: Austin Storhaug

Stormwater Solutions logo
Stormwater Solutions, LLP

Phone: 509.866.6054
Contact: Christa Riley

Sustainable Groundworks logo
Sustainable Groundworks LLC

Phone: 360.999.9445
Contact: Kyle Pierpoint

Valley Science and Engineering logo
Valley Science and Engineering

Phone: 509.608.5940
Contact: Sara Rodriguez

Contact Information

Wastewater Management
909 E. Sprague Ave
Spokane, WA 99202


Related Links