A new small works program was initiated in 2017, aimed at addressing smaller-scale, low-cost construction and maintenance projects. All small works projects identified in the subwatershed master plans were evaluated and ranked based on time, cost, severity, access, permitting, and other factors.


Henley Street Drainage Improvement

  • An insert-a-tee was installed on Henley Street to connect a private property owner's downspouts into the county's stormwater conveyance system to improve drainage.


Nootka Loop Duckbill Check Valve

    • Regular flooding occurs at the ditch along Birch Bay Drive at Nootka Loop.

    • This ditch drains directly into a slough off of Birch Bay, and flooding usually occurs in conjunction with high tides and rain events.

    • In order to alleviate flooding, a new catch basin will be installed with a duckbill check valve on the upstream pipe to prevent backflow from the slough.

    • This design is a cost effective and low-maintenance solution to the flooding.

    • Project completed in November 2020.

This ditch floods every year and frequently spills into residential yards

Installation plans for the duckbill check valve


Henley Street Drainage Improvements (in the Cottonwood Creek channel)

    • Down-cutting has occurred through the embankment at the outfall to Cottonwood Creek.

    • Improvements were designed to provide stabilization measures associated with ditch and culvert systems .

    • A cross culvert was installed under Henley Street to convey all runoff to one side of the street.

    • Completed on October 18, 2019.

Photo of the improved outfall to Cottonwood Creek

The NPDES Maintenance & Operations (M&O) crew installed a new cross culvert under Henley Street and rock armoring on the steep channel to the creek.

Terrill Drive Drainage Improvement

    • Removed a collapsed drain pipe and installed a new pipe and catch basin.

    • Completed on April 16, 2019.

Terrill Drive: The NPDES Maintenance & Operations (M&O) crew removed a rotten and collapsed storm drain pipe within the road right-of-way on Terrill Drive and installed a new pipe and catch basin on April 15-16.


  • Drainage improvements on:

      • Cedar Street

      • Deer Trail

      • Cottonwood Drive at Idlesse Condominiums

  • Fir Street catch basin and culvert placement

  • Alder Street jetting, pipe replacement, and catch basin repair

  • Henley Street jetting and culvert video inspection

  • Birch Bay Drive lid replacement on buried vault

  • Halverson Park/Alder Street ditch stabilization (photo right)

  • Beach Way Drive ditch maintenance and catch basin repair

  • Cottonwood Creek bank stabilization

  • Residential connection to stormwater conveyance system

on Birch Bay Drive

The county’s M&O crew worked to stabilize a severely incised ditch that deposits stormwater into Halverson Park Creek. Channel armoring will help slow the water, reduce erosion, and decrease sediment transport into the creek.


In 2017, video inspections of conveyance systems were conducted in several neighborhoods and drainage improvements were made, including ditch maintenance, catch basin (CB) replacements, and vault repairs. As new incidents are reported by community members, they will be investigated by the BBWARM program specialist and added to the list.

  • Drainage improvements on:

      • Anderson Road

      • Birch Bay RV Campground

      • Holeman Avenue

      • Fir, Alder & Beach Way

  • Birch Bay Drive buried vault repair

  • Henley & Ritchie catch basin replacement

  • Comfort Lane catch basin replacement

  • Responding to public inquiries and requests for drainage facility maintenance

Existing catch basin structures (left) and their replacements (right).

Video inspection of a storm main along Birch Bay Dr.


Whatcom County Public Works Maintenance and Operations is responsible for the regular maintenance of drainage facilities in county road rights-of-way. Whatcom County's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit establishes additional stormwater facility inspection and maintenance requirements for the Birch Bay Urban Growth Area (UGA). BBWARM works to assist Whatcom County in these maintenance programs and enhance their level of service when possible. Maintenance of privately owned stormwater facilities is the responsibility of the property owner(s).

To report a problem with a county road drainage system

call Whatcom County Public Works Central Shop (360) 778-6400