Timely topic tonight: City to discuss new approaches for regulating stormwater

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It may not sound very exciting, but as rainstorms continue to pound Edmonds, the topic is a timely one: The City of Edmonds Public Works Department is inviting residents to attend an open house tonight at the Edmonds Library regarding changes for regulating stormwater.

Edmonds’ drainage system, which is composed of streams, lakes, wetlands, storm detention sites, pipes and ditches, has largely been designed to hold and carry stormwater during storms. However, when heavy storms hit, some flooding can occur, causing streambank erosion and property damage.

Stormwater runoff is also a concern because it goes directly into our waterways without treatment, carrying with it the contaminants it picks up along the way, such as street oil and grease, pesticides and bacteria from trash and animal waste. (The Edmonds Backyard Wildlife Habitat Restoration Project website has a good summary here of what homeowners can do to minimize runoff through landscaping.)

Tonight’s presentation, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Plaza Room above the Edmonds Library, 650 Main St., is hosted by the Engineering Division of the Public Works Department. City engineers will discuss planned revisions to the City’s Stormwater Code (Chapter 18.30), which are required by the Washington State Department of Ecology to comply with the Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit. Other proposed changes include offering a wider range of stormwater Best Management Practices to meet requirements (including low-impact development techniques) and an update of standards.

The evening will include a staff presentation, a question-and-answer session, and opportunities for additional public involvement. For more information, contact Jerry Shuster, P.E., City of Edmonds Stormwater Engineering Program Manager at shuster@ci.edmonds.wa.us or by calling 425-771-0220.

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