Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility

In December 2017, the Whatcom County Council established the Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Service Area (Ordinance 2017-076) under the authority of RCW 36.89. The Service Area includes the entire unincorporated (outside city limits) Lake Whatcom watershed (see map below).  The purpose of the new stormwater utility is to provide additional funding for efforts to clean up and protect Lake Whatcom water quality. Existing funding sources are not sufficient to meet current and future Lake Whatcom program needs to comply with state-mandated reductions in phosphorus and meet federal Clean Water Act requirements. No fees will be collected until Whatcom County Council approves a stormwater fee rate structure for the new service area. 

Funding Study

Whatcom County Public Works conducted a funding study to evaluate stormwater fee rate structure options for the new stormwater utility service area from June 2018 to March 2019. Stakeholder input and recommendations were provided through a citizen advisory committee. Interested public attended advisory committee meetings and provided comments to the committee for their consideration. 

Advisory Committee

A citizen advisory committee was selected by Whatcom County Council on May 8, 2018. The purpose of the committee was to represent rate payers in the Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Service Area and advise Whatcom County Public Works staff and the Whatcom County Council on recommended a stormwater fee rate structure.  The committee provided their final recommendation on March 20, 2019.  The committee will officially dissolve when council adopts a rate structure. Committee members are listed below.  For more information and to read the resolution establishing the committee visit the Whatcom County Council Boards and Commissions page

Sudden Valley RepresentativeLaurence Brown
GeographicTodd Citron
GeographicNancy Alyanak
GeographicHarry (Skip) Johnsen
GeographicNathaniel Washington


A funding study wrap up public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 30, 2019, 6:30 p.m. at the Geneva Elementary School cafeteria, 1401 Geneva Street.  Read the press release. The purpose of this meeting is to share information about the recently completed funding study and proposed stormwater utility rates. A funding study kickoff public meeting was held on April 18, 2018 followed by advisory committee meetings between June 2018 and March 2019.  Visit the meetings page for additional information and to download meeting documents.  

Issue Papers

Issue papers were an important part of the funding study.  These papers outlined different issues with relevant information on state and county codes, policies, cost, and feasibility.  The purpose of the papers was to provide information needed for the committee to consider the issue and make a recommendation on that specific component of the proposed rate structure. Download draft issue papers below. The papers will be finalized and incorporated into the final study report later in 2019. 

Download Issue Papers

Comments and Questions

Comments and questions received during the funding study have been logged in the table below with staff response. All written comments submitted are also provided for download. The comment period during the funding study is over.  Send questions to  

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