Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGLO 1979 NO. 42 > Dec 28 1979

(1) Under RCW 86.16.035 the State Department of Ecology is authorized, in its discretion, to promulgate rules regulating the times when (a) the owner or operator of a "flood control facility" or (b) the owner or operator of any dam or other "water flow control facility" may release impounded water or otherwise alter the stream flow if the released water or altered stream flow might create a danger to life or property downstream.

(2) Under the same statute the Department of Ecology is also authorized to promulgate regulations requiring the notification of persons downstream or the posting of signs prior to the release of impounded water or other alteration in the stream flow by (a) a flood control dam or (b) any dam or water flow control facility when such release or alteration might create a danger to life or property below the dam.

AGO 1966 NO. 75 > Mar 1 1966

(1) A husband and wife, holding title or evidence of title to more than ten acres of benefited lands within a flood control district as community property, are entitled to one additional vote for each additional ten acres or major fraction thereof held. (2) A vendor is entitled to vote in a district election where benefited property in a flood control district is the subject of an ordinary real estate contract. (3) A purchaser is entitled to vote in a district election where benefited property in a flood control district is the subject of an ordinary real estate contract.

AGO 1966 NO. 94 > Jul 15 1966

A flood control district organized pursuant to chapter 86.09 RCW is not subject to the debt limitation provisions of Article VIII, § 6, of the Washington state constitution for the reason that it is not a "municipal corporation" within the meaning thereof.  Accord:  Board of Directors v. Peterson , 4 Wash. 147, 29 Pac. 995 (1892).

AGO 1962 NO. 131 > May 9 1962

(1) A flood control zone district may acquire pursuant to RCW 86.15.080 (5) title to property owned by a drainage district provided the consent of said district is first obtained. (2) The provisions of RCW 86.15.210 do not apply to drainage districts.

AGO 1956 NO. 238 > Apr 2 1956

Chapter 86.12 RCW, which is derived from chapter 204, Laws of 1941, empowers the various counties of this state to condemn land for and make culverts and waterways to alleviate flood conditions caused by "flood waters" only, but does not empower counties to alleviate flood conditions caused by "surface waters" comprising rain water moving across country and not coming from any definite source.  Expenditures for flood water improvements must be made out of a county river improvement fund and not out of the general or current expense fund. County road funds may not be used for drainage of private property within the county, except the county may provide adequate drainage for its roads which may incidentally benefit adjacent private property. Chapter 36.43 RCW does not give counties the power to drain private property within a county merely because county officials have issued building permit for such property.

AGO 1954 NO. 354 > Dec 2 1954

State may only reimburse a flood control district for 50% of the amount expended for flood control maintenance under a contract for state participation between the department of soil conservation and development and the flood control district.