Reducing water pollution with green approaches

Polluted stormwater runoff is the leading water quality threat to Puget Sound, the City has released a draft citywide Green Stormwater Infrastructure Strategy, outlining plans to accelerate green approaches for preventing this type of water pollution.

Rainfall rushing off hard surfaces like roads and parking lots can overwhelm our piped drainage system and cause back-ups and combined sewer overflows. The runoff also carries pollution directly into creeks, lakes, and other waterways. Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) prevents overflows and pollution much like a forest would – by slowing and cleaning the water, and either reusing it or allowing it to soak back through the soil. Examples of GSI include roadside bioretention swales and street trees that manage street runoff; raingardens and cisterns that manage roof runoff; and green roofs and permeable pavement that are self-managing.

The draft Strategy sets an interim goal of managing 400 million gallons of stormwater runoff annually with GSI by the year 2020, summarizes progress to date, outlines a set of strategies and planned investments for accelerating the adoption of GSI in Seattle, and articulates a two-year work plan for City of Seattle departments.

The draft 5-year GSI Implementation Strategy is available for public comment through August 26. For more information, contact Pam Emerson, Green Stormwater Policy Advisor, pam.emerson@seattle.gov, 206.386.4507.

Submit comments electronically here.