Water Plans, Regulations & Reports

Drinking Water

Olympia's Water System Plan presents both a 50-year vision and a six-year plan for efficiently using regional water resources to ensure safe and sustainable drinking water for the City's growing needs.

The Plan is used by City staff to accomplish goals around efficient use and protection of current water supplies, to ensure future supplies, maintain a reliable water system infrastructure, and manage the Drinking Water Utility in a fiscally responsible manner.

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) requires the City to update this planning document every six years. DOH must approve the Plan for the City to be in compliance with water system planning requirements.

Our annual Water Quality Report (WQR) includes Olympia's water quality test results and highlights the efforts and programs it takes to ensure we have great tasting, high quality water at a reasonable cost for generations to come.

Storm & Surface Water 

Olympia’s Storm and Surface Water Utility is responsible for reducing flooding, maintaining or improving water quality, and protecting and enhancing local aquatic habitat. The Plan responds to these responsibilities by recommending feasible options to better manage our storm and surface waters.

The 2016 Drainage Design and Erosion Control Manual for Olympia (Drainage Manual) establishes stormwater minimum requirements for new development, redevelopment and road projects of all sizes. Land developers and development engineers use the Drainage Manual to help design site plans, create construction stormwater site plans, and determine stormwater infrastructure. Businesses use the Drainage Manual to help design their stormwater pollution prevention plans.

The Department of Ecology's Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit requires development and documentation of a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP). Documentation of this program must be organized like the Permit and updated annually.

The 2010 GIS Basin Analysis summarizes a technical evaluation of basin characteristics and available monitoring data for watershed basins in Olympia. This is an extension of an ongoing body of work that the City of Olympia Storm and Surface Water program has been developing since its inception in 1986.

The primary objective of the 2013 Habitat and Stewardship Strategy was to identify and classify the remaining habitat in Olympia and it's growth boundaries in order to develop a strategy for land stewardship in keeping with the storm and surface water utilities aquatic habitat goals.

This report describes the landscape context, history, existing habitat conditions, and restoration opportunities at Mission Creek Nature Park in Northeast Olympia. It was completed in partnership with Olympia Parks, Arts, and Recreation.

This report describes the habitat enhancement actions implemented at Mission Creek Nature Park in the years 2015-18. The actions and report were completed in partnership with Olympia Parks, Arts, and Recreation.

The West Bay Environmental Restoration Assessment is a science-based analysis of habitat restoration and water quality improvement opportunities along Budd Inlet’s West Bay shoreline. Decades of development and shoreline fill degraded environmental conditions warranting a comprehensive look at the entire shoreline within the City limits. Partners included the City of Olympia Public Works and Parks, Arts and Recreation Departments; the Port of Olympia; and the Squaxin Island Tribe. The study focused primarily on publicly owned properties. Approaches for private properties are also included. The report includes information on potential environmental benefits and costs for conceptual shoreline restoration actions and water quality projects. Public access elements compatible with restoration actions are also included.


A wastewater management plan contains information on the existing condition of a wastewater (sewer) utility, including known problems and anticipated needs for future facilities.

Reclaimed Water

This Business Plan presents a long-range vision for the reclaimed water program and defines market expectations for reclaimed water sales. It discusses policy issues that affect development and financing of the reclaimed water program. Finally, the Plan estimates the costs of constructing the reclaimed water distribution system and provides a framework for financing capital investments.

This plan builds upon previous evaluation of reclaimed water use in the City and is intended to provide a roadmap for future development of the City’s reclaimed water system, allowing the City to distribute reclaimed water to new potential users.

State regulations

All stormwater runoff flowing through Olympia's pipes, ponds, and ditches must now be managed according to the requirements of a new permit issued by the Washington State Department of Ecology (WDOE) in January of 2007. The Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit requires the City to take actions like; educating the public and encouraging non-polluting behaviors, looking for illegal dumping and cross-connections, enforcing erosion and sediment control at construction sites, and using best practices for land management and stormwater system maintenance.

Annual updates

The Permit also requires annual updates. The two specific updates for the Storm & Surface Water Utility include:

  1. NPDES Stormwater Management Program Plan: The Permit requires development and documentation of a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP). Documentation of this program must be organized like the Permit and updated annually. View the 2021 Stormwater Management Program Plan.
  2. Annual Report: The Permit requires completion and submittal of an Annual Report to document how the City is complying with each section of the Permit. View the 2020 Annual Permit Report.
  3. For general information on the Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit visit the Washington State Department of Ecology website.
  4. Water Clean-Up Plans - Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)

Learn more about the Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit.

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