Rainfall washes pollutants from yards and pavement into our local streams, lakes and Puget Sound.
Stormwater services and information
The Stormwater Services Section investigates more than 600 drainage and water quality complaints annually.
Report a problem
Contacts: Stormwater Services Section
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Manual
2009 King County Surface Water Design Manual
Learn about stormwater and how to reduce pollution
Introduction to stormwater in King County
Learn about the science of stormwater, common problems related to stormwater including causes and solutions, homeowner tips, regulations, and how to get help from King County.
Reduce stormwater and its pollution at home
Act to reduce local flooding
Proposed Changes to King County's 2009 Surface Water Design Manual and 2009 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Manual
King County is updating both the 2009 Surface Water Design Manual (SWDM) and the 2009 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Manual (SPPM). The changes to the manuals are approved through the adoption of public rules. To review the proposed changes and proposed public rules and to learn how to provide comments, please go to the links below.
Neighborhood Drainage Assistance Program (NDAP)
Get technical assistance for questions about construction, permitting, and storm drainage and request capital improvements or repairs to address flooding, erosion and sedimentation problems affecting private property in unincorporated King County.
Drainage design resources for professionals
2009 Surface Water Design Manual
Documents and software to help engineers design storm drainage systems that reduce problems for downstream neighbors and minimize damage to our natural environment.
KCRTS hydrologic and KCBW hydraulic modeling software
- The King County Runoff Time Series (KCRTS) hydrologic model is a required methodology under the 1998 King County Surface Water Design Manual for sizing detention and infiltration flow control facilities.
- The King County Backwater (KCBW) Program is a standard step backwater analysis program for pipe networks, culverts, and simple open channels.
Drainage maintenance resources
Low impact development
Low impact development reports and resources (external link)
The EPA offers Low Impact Development information, reports, and resources.
Combined Sewer Overflow Control Program - Wastewater Treatment Division
Combined sewer overflows - Dept. of Health, Seattle/King County
Some old segments of our regional sewers were designed to drain stormwater too, but these combined systems occasionally flood in big downpours. Combined sewers were designed to let diluted wastewater overflow untreated into rivers, lakes or Puget Sound to avoid sewage backups in homes and businesses.
Regional Inflow and Infiltration Control Program
What King County is doing to reduce the unintended flow of surface water and groundwater into the sewer system.
King County Waterworks Garden stormwater facility
Example of a beautiful and functional stormwater treatment facility that integrates art, technology and nature.
Stormwater projects and plans
Green River stormwater retrofit planning project
Study modeling and comparing methods to manage stormwater and reduce pollution in developed areas, to establish best practices to manage stormwater.
Miller and Walker Creeks stormwater retrofit planning for improving streams
Project to reduce stormwater pollution in urban creeks that drain into Puget Sound.
King County Stormwater Management Program (SWMP)
Describes King County's action plan to comply with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) phase I municipal stormwater permit issued by the Washington State Department of Ecology.
King County climate change plan
How King County seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to projected climate change impacts, and embed mitigation and adaptation into county policy decisions. The plan incorporates issues, goals and actions related to stormwater.
Flooding, stormwater and wastewater breakout session results, King County Climate Change Conference
Review a summary report describing anticipated affects of global warming on flooding, stormwater and wastewater in Washington State with proposed adaptation strategies. Also, look up the flooding, stormwater and wastewater session agenda, presentations, speaker credentials and biographies.
King County's surface water management fee
How your fees pay for these services in Unincorporated King County including Vashon Island.
Stormwater resources and references
Links to regulatory agencies, environmental organizations, King County stormwater staff directory, and other resources for information on stormwater and related water resource topics.
Interactive map - stormwater complaints, facilities, projects and studies
Note: this link will open a new browser window
Zoom in to view the full set of map layers including drainage complaints, the regional, commercial and residential stormwater facilities, neighborhood drainage projects, stormwater studies, and aerial imagery among other things. Viewing information about individual map features may take some practice: choose the "active" (or queryable) map layer from the layers list, select the tool, and click on one of that layer's features to display associated data.
Annual reports to Ecology for the NPDES Municipal Stormwater Permit
Facility and permit compliance - King County performance measures
These performance measures track King County's compliance with its surface water management permit among other things.
Stormwater treatment and flow controls map - Post 1990 (17.5 Mb Acrobat pdf)
This map shows parcels in King County that were developed after 1990, when stormwater treatment controls and substantially more effective stormwater flow controls started to be required for new development. Thus the map presents a general graphic illustration of where modern stormwater controls are presumed to have been implemented and where development has occurred with no treatment control and little or no flow control. Note, the map is based on the year of latest development and does not represent actual stormwater control. In addition, the area presumed to have modern stormwater controls is likely smaller than what is shown because not all incorporated areas began requiring such controls when unincorporated King County did in 1990.