Stormwater Utility

Stormwater Utility (SWU) Fee

The utilities' rate structure is based upon the amount of impervious surface area within each parcel or equivalent service units (ESU).

A $80.40 basic service charge per ESU, per year shall be levied against each developed parcel within the service area.

Examples Fee Calculations

The following are examples of how ESUs are calculated and applied within the service area:

  • Single family residence equals 1 ESU
  • Duplex equals 1 ESU
  • Tri-plex/Four-plex equals 2 ESUs
  • For all other parcels: Number of ESUs equals the total square feet of impervious surfaces divided by 2,750 square feet (the approximate surface area of an average residential rooftop and driveway)

Please note that:

  • No developed parcel shall contain less than one ESU
  • Undeveloped parcels do not contain ESUs
  • Douglas County and East Wenatchee pay for their impervious areas, including streets, roads, trails, and parking lots


  • Qualified low-income senior citizens and disabled persons may be eligible for a discount.
  • In addition storm water facilities designed to accept runoff may be eligible to receive a storm water utility credit.
  • Rate structure is current as of March 25, 2016.

What You Get from the Stormwater Utility

The SWU attempts to assure that there will be long term funding to pay for construction, maintenance and repair of storm water facilities.

Douglas County's Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan identifies many capital improvement projects in the Greater East Wenatchee area aimed to mitigate chronic flooding problems. Multiple projects have been completed to date, such as:

  • Canyon B channel stabilization
  • Canyon A culverts at Eastmont/3rd Street Southeast
  • Construction of detention basins at 4th Street Southeast, 10th Street Southeast, 23rd Street Northeast, and 35th Street Northeast
  • Drywell installation and repair in East Wenatchee and the Fancher Heights area
  • Obtaining capacity in a storm water conveyance system, 27th Street Northwest to the River

Stormwater utility funds pay for improving and maintaining the storm drainage system. Improvements to the overall drainage system may have more direct benefits to some, but that does not impact the fairness of the rate or that we all benefit from stormwater management. While your property may not be physically connected to the drainage system, the storm water utility improves and maintains upstream facilities which in turn protects your property. Everybody benefits from the maintenance and improvements provided by the stormwater utility, through an improved environment, better access to roads during storm events, and reduced flooding during abnormal years. Maintenance of the storm drainage system helps to ensure the safety and reliability of the road system within the Storm Water Utility Area.