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Stormwater Inspections and Maintenance
Each year we conduct routine inspections for both public and private stormwater systems within the Bothell's city limits. We inspect control structures, retention ponds, detention and drainage systems to be sure they meet standards and are in proper working order.
If you have a business in Bothell's city limits, click here for information about business source control inspections.
The City adopted its most current set of standards for maintaining stormwater systems in Bothell on January 1, 2022. View the current standards. The next update is planned for mid 2023.
Does your drainage system need maintenance?
See a list of private contractors that are licensed to do that kind of work in Bothell's city limits, and learn what you should do before hiring one.
If you have questions about your stormwater system, first check here for answers. If you don't find your answer, please contact our surface water inspector.
- What is a stormwater system?
A stormwater system is any part of an engineered drainage system that collects rainwater. Some examples of stormwater systems include:
- detention ponds
- underground vaults
- catch basins
- Why do I need an inspection?
We inspect your system to ensure that it's functioning properly and to keep us in compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.
- Why should I maintain my system?
In Bothell, these facilities protect your property from flooding and drain directly into our lakes, streams, and wetlands without treatment. This means that any pollutants in the water can cause many problems for our local community and can make contact with the water a health risk. For these reasons, owners are required to maintain their storm systems annually (BMC 18.04.270)
- What information do I need to provide to the City?
The City of Bothell will request the property owner or homeowners association to provide:
- Current property owner information with contact person, address, and phone number if it has changed in the past six months.
- The contact person should be the Property Manager/Landlord, Homeowners Association President, or Owners representing all affected properties.
- This information needs to include full name, address, phone number, and email.
If contact information changes, please let us know so we can update our records.
- Who do I contact if my storm system needs maintenance or repairs?
If City of Bothell staff notified you that your storm system needs maintenance and/or repairs, whether after an urgent response or through a routine inspection, you may need to hire a contractor to do the work. Here is some information about drainage system maintenance service contractors with a current City of Bothell business license that permits them to perform services within Bothell's city limits. We update this list every August. City of Bothell has no affiliation with the contractors and does not guarantee quality of service or otherwise endorse any of the contractors.
Labor & Industries also has helpful tips for hiring a contractor.
- Can I clean the system myself?
The City highly recommends you hire of a professional licensed contractor who is qualified to perform the necessary work on site. You can see a list of contractors licensed to do this kind of work in Bothell's city limits at www.bothellwa.gov/vactorvendors.
- How long do I have to complete the maintenance requirements?
Most work orders need to be completed within 30 days of receipt in order to comply with municipal code. If any extensive work is necessary, contact our lead inspector to talk about arrangements or possible extensions. Penalties for not complying may result in fines, appearance before the Hearing Examiner, or reimbursement for the City having to complete the work in emergency situations.
- How often will I need to have my system cleaned?
Maintenance will depend on the type of system in your care and the surrounding conditions in your community. Establishing a maintenance schedule is the best way to ensure your system is functioning properly.
- I have questions about my stormwater system. Who do I contact?
Bothell has two surface water inspectors available to answer your questions. Please let us know if you'd like one of them to contact you.
- Where does something end up after it goes into my storm system?
In most cases, whatever goes into public storm drains in Bothell flows through storm pipes or open channels, then discharges into streams, lakes, rivers, and eventually Puget Sound. Unlike sewage, stormwater doesn't stop at a treatment facility along the way, which is why it's so important to make sure pollutants stay out of the storm system.
Here's a good rule of thumb: If you wouldn't want to swim in it or let your pets drink it, keep it out of your storm system.
Remember...nothing but rain down the drain!
- How do I report a spill of hazardous material or illegal dumping into a storm drain?
Call our 24/7 Spill Hotline at 425-806-6750.
- Is it ok to dump biodegradable products into the storm drain?
No. Even if a product is biodegradable, it could still be toxic to aquatic life. Many biodegradable products aren't designed to break down in water the same way they do in soil. Whatever enters a storm drain in Bothell flows, untreated, to the nearest stream, lake, or river.
Here's a good rule of thumb: If you wouldn't want to swim in it or let your pet drink it, make sure it doesn't go down your storm drain.
Remember...nothing but rain down the drain!