Protect Our Waters
Protect Our Waters is the City of Seattle’s commitment to take actions and promote partnerships that protect and improve our creeks, lakes, the Duwamish River and Puget Sound.
Questions? Comments? Contact Susan Harper at

“Fix it First” is Saving Rate Payers Money

Delridge map

Strategic changes have a big impact. The “fix it first” approach could save the City of Seattle an estimated 90 million dollars, and bring the salmon back to Longfellow Creek. The Delridge Drainage Basin is getting much cleaner by using a combination of tools, including retrofits to the existing system and green solutions. Green Stormwater Infrastructure, which uses special soils and plants, is now installed along 17 city blocks to slow stormwater runoff and prevent combined sewer overflows into the creek. Seattle Public Utilities’ goal is to have no more than one overflow per year. This project is not only reducing demand on existing pipes and sewage treatment facilities, it is also beautifying the neighborhood and protecting the local waters.

For more information about this project contact Project Manager Tara Wong-Esteban at or GSI Project Manager Jason Sharpley at You can also learn more on the SPU website.

CSO Monitoring Keeps Water and People Safe

CSO status map

The City of Seattle manages 87 different Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) outfalls around Puget Sound and Lake Washington. Improvements to CSO monitoring technology make it possible for you to know within 1 hour at this new website if an overflow is happening near your favorite swimming or fishing hole. This is a vast improvement compared to the previous 12 hours it took for the information to be reported to the website. These more robust monitors will save an estimated $170,000 over the next two years, due to the efficient batteries.

CSO overflows generally contain 90% storm water and 10% sewage causing a toxic problem in the water. The City recommends that people stay out of the water for 48 hours after a combined sewer overflow. If you have questions regarding an overflow, please call (206) 205-1151 or visit the website to see the status of all CSO points in Seattle.

Have Your Say in a Deeper Way


Are you someone who likes to ask questions, explore and understand complex issues? Do you enjoy dialogue and offering comments?

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is seeking volunteers for three Community Advisory Committees: Creeks, Drainage and Wastewater (CDWAC); Water Systems (WSAC); and Solid Waste (SWAC). These groups meet regularly to provide feedback on SPU’s policies, programs and communications. They also receive briefings on plans and projects and see work in progress on field trips.

Members from CDWAC and WSAC toured the underground reservoir at Maple Leaf to learn about SPU’s seismic retrofit project. This is an example of the hands-on experience and information members receive from staff. Field trips provide context and deepen knowledge that applies to Committee work. You, too could take part in this type of activity!

Visit to find annual Committee work plans/topics, comprehensive meeting notes, and presentations. For more information, contact Sheryl Shapiro at or (206) 615-1443.

Breaking News

Happy Holidays

From all the staff in the Protect Our Waters Network, we hope you have a safe and fun time this holiday season.

Road Runoff a No-No for Coho

Check out this study on road runoff and impacts on salmon in Seattle recently published in Scientific American magazine.


Free Automobile Leaks Classes

Gain new car maintenance skills, and learn how to help keep local waterways and wildlife safe from oil and other fluid leaks.

Rain Gardens and Cisterns Prevent Pollution

Learn about RainWise Rebates and Green Stormwater Infrastructure. Visit

Take the Pledge. Get Good Deals. Protect Water Quality.

SPU is offering free Chinook Book mobile coupons (a $15 value) while supplies last. Take the pledge and get up-to-date information.

Water Quality Hotline

Spot it? Spill it?
SPU's got it!
Report water pollution online or by calling (206) 386-1800

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Outreach Coordinator: Susan Harper