Stormwater Utility

The City of Bainbridge Island is required to provide surface water management services by state and federal law. The surface water management programs address impacts from stormwater runoff such as flooding, erosion, pollution, habitat degradation, and low stream flows. To pay for these services, a fee is assessed on property owners within the City.

The City is committed to managing stormwater runoff to protect life, property and habitat from flooding and erosion; to channel runoff to minimize impacts to daily activities; to protect the quality of groundwater, surface water, and the waters of Puget Sound; and to provide recharge of groundwater where appropriate.

Services We Provide

In summary, the stormwater utility fee helps to ensure that new or major renovations to existing utility facilities are designed to minimize adverse impacts on residents and the environment. This includes the goal of managing stormwater runoff to protect life, property and habitat from flooding and erosion; to channel runoff to minimize impacts to daily activities; to protect the quality of groundwater, surface water, and the waters of Puget Sound; and to provide recharge of groundwater where appropriate.

See 2016 Comprehensive Plan (PDF) for more information.

Specifically, surface water management fees help to:

  • Maintain a comprehensive storm drainage plan.
  • Require new development to provide both on-site and off-site improvements.
  • Use low impact development standards wherein infiltration of stormwater is preferred over surface discharge to downstream systems.
  • Design and construct stormwater systems that provide for removal of pollutants and sediment through bio-filtration or other means.
  • Minimize disruption and/or degradation of natural drainage systems, minimize impervious areas by restricting site coverage, and encourage site permeability by retaining natural vegetation and buffers.
  • Manage surface water in a manner which prevents pollutants from industrial, commercial, and agricultural land uses from entering ground or surface waters.

How Current Fees Are Calculated

(13.24.110 utility service charge calculation)

Impervious surface unit (ISU) is estimated at 3,000 square feet of impervious ground cover and is the unit of measurement used by the utility in assessing service charges.

  1. Single family residential property will be charged one ISU
  2. Single family residential parcels that contain an additional structure that is equal to or exceeds 3000 square feet of impervious ground cover will be assessed an additional service charge for each such structure
  3. Other developed property parcels within mixed use condominium properties that include both residential and nonresidential properties will be deemed to contain one equivalent ISU per condominium unit
  4. Multifamily and other developed property parcels
    1. Actual impervious ground cover / 3,000 square feet by single family service charge
    2. Fractions shall be rounded to the nearest whole number but not less than one ISU per developed property

How Fees are Collected & Spent

Kitsap County collects surface water management fees and they appear on your property tax statement. While not a tax, these fees are like other fees for service (from local fire or library districts for example).

This money is used to ensure continued protection and improvement of drainage and water quality on Bainbridge Island.

Check out this financial graph on stormwater fees.

Other Helpful SSWM Fee Information