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Venema Creek Natural Drainage System

Project Area

See the map on the right for the project area and the following PDFs for conceptual designs.

SEPA Review

The Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Checklist and Determination of Non-Significance were issued on March 13, 2014. The environmental impacts of the Venema Creek Natural Drainage System project have been analyzed and SPU has issued a Determination of Non-Significance:

Public Drop-in Session – December 2013

The Venema Creek Natural Drainage System project team hosted a public drop-in session on December 10 for residents and nearby neighbors to see the latest plans. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about choices for landscape design and plant selection, and chat one-on-one with the project team. Thank you to everyone who stopped by! In case you missed the drop-in session, please find the meeting materials below:

In early 2014, the project team will continue refining the final design. Construction is anticipated to begin in mid-2014. Please stay tuned for more information about construction schedule and anticipated impacts.

Project Background

Venema Creek is a tributary that flows into Piper’s Creek in North Seattle. This project is to construct a series of naturalistic “conveyance swales” to channel rainwater off the street, to treat it to remove pollutants, and to allow it to seep slowly into the soil.

The project goals are to:

  • Begin to restore the natural hydrological cycle of Venema Creek with deep groundwater recharge, thereby reducing the volume and intensity of storm water runoff
  • Improve water quality in Venema and Piper’s Creek, and Puget Sound
  • Provide additional green space and vegetation to reduce air and water pollutants while improving the pedestrian and street experience
  • Develop a natural drainage system in an area lacking formal drainage infrastructure

At present, technical analysis is being done to determine the suitability for broader application of deep groundwater recharge in the Broadview area.

Project Timeline

View the full project timeline (pdf)

Related Documents and Links

SPU Natural Drainage Projects

Venema FAQ Handout (pdf)

January 2013 Public Meeting Materials (pdf)

Stormwater found toxic to salmon (KOMO News)

How natural drainage systems filter pollutants (Sightline article)

For more information

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If you have questions or comments about the project, please contact Don Anderson, P.E., at (206) 233-1086 or