Seattle Public Utilities

Longfellow Natural Drainage

  • Established_NDS A natural drainage system project a few years after installation.
  • Installed_NDS A natural drainage system before plants are installed.

What & Why 

We are working to reduce polluted runoff from entering our creeks and lakes, including Longfellow Creek, the Duwamish River, and Puget Sound. Polluted runoff is the greatest water quality threat to Puget Sound. It is estimated that more than 12 million pounds of pollution is carried into our waterways by stormwater every year.

One strategy SPU is using to solve this problem is to build Natural Drainage Systems. These engineered systems are connected cells of spongy dirt and plants that slow and clean water from the roadway and are built on the public right-of-way.

The Natural Drainage Systems Program is coming to your neighborhood.

What's happening now?

We are currently working to:

  • Finalize site selection for Natural Drainage Systems (NDS) in the public right-of-way.
  • Begin design for each selected site.  
  • Engage residents, businesses, and community organizations within the project area.  

We are planning to select sites within the next few months from potentially feasible areas in the Longfellow Creek basin.  

Want periodic project updates? Please sign up to receive emails from the Longfellow NDS team by clicking on “sign up for project updates” on the far right of this webpage.

Project goals and benefits

This project will improve water quality in Longfellow Creek, as well as improve stormwater drainage, slow traffic, and beautify streets.

The project will also help the City of Seattle achieve its goal of managing 700 million gallons of stormwater runoff using green infrastructure.

Project Documents


Jonathan Brown, project manager
(206) 386-4027

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