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News / Clark County News

Vancouver wins $7 million in grants for stormwater project

The Columbian
Published: March 4, 2019, 6:00am

The city of Vancouver will receive more than $7 million in grant money from the state Department of Ecology for stormwater improvement projects and activities, the city announced last week.

The money comes from the state’s competitive Water Quality Combined Funding Program. The city uses local stormwater utility funds, provided by ratepayers, as matching contributions to acquire Ecology grants.

The five projects are scheduled for construction in 2020-2022:

• Lower Grand Area stormwater retrofit: Will provide planning, design and installation of facilities to treat and manage road runoff in an industrial area. The area is currently served by post-World War II infrastructure, and the limited drainage systems there provide no water quality treatment, according to city staff. Estimated total cost: $1.2 million.

• Blandford Basins stormwater retrofit: Will provide treatment-and-flow control to improve water quality within a wellhead protection area and the Columbia River watershed. Currently, stormwater runoff from residential lands and streets here flows untreated to the canyon along Blandford Drive and finally into the Columbia River. Estimated total cost: $3 million.

• East Orchards Fourth Plain corridor stormwater retrofit: Will retrofit existing dry well systems and use bioretention facilities, or other best management practices, to improve stormwater quality. Currently, runoff in this area drains untreated through dry wells. Estimated total cost: $964,000.

• Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard, 123rd-131st avenues water quality retrofits: Builds 12 bioretention facilities and use deep tree root treatment systems along the south half of the street, reducing pollutants in stormwater and improving water quality. Currently, stormwater here runs untreated into dry wells and contributes to Burnt Bridge Creek’s base flow. The new treatments are designed to help protect groundwater and improve the watershed. Estimated total cost: $930,000.

• Northeast Ross Street retrofits: To improve water quality in the Burnt Bridge Creek watershed, this project will install a new, separate system in the street to manage stormwater runoff from the public right of way. The existing system, which will remain in place, receives runoff from the nearby Bonneville Power Administration site. Currently, runoff here is untreated and ultimately flows to the creek. Estimated total cost: $984,000

• Extended private facility inspections: With the help of grant funds, the city will expand its inspection program for private stormwater facilities in the Burnt Bridge Creek Watershed to include additional pipe locating, community outreach and technical assistance. Proper care and maintenance of those stormwater facilities will help remove pollutants and improve water quality throughout the watershed.

City staff also expect to receive an Ecology grant to fund an engineering study for Burnt Bridge Creek’s Burton Channel. The proposed green retrofit, estimated to cost $200,000, would provide for design of stormwater facilities to capture, treat and infiltrate street runoff now draining, untreated, directly into Burton Channel in the Burton Ridge neighborhood.

Construction would follow as funding becomes available