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

Anatomy of a Project to Protect Our Waters

Henderson project aerial photo

Aerial photo of North Henderson project site in February 2016

Seattle Public Utilities’ North Henderson project is keeping Seattle a great place to live. In order to control polluted runoff and sewage during major rainstorms, this new underground storage tank will store up to 2.65 million gallons. It is being installed along the southern edge of Seward Park under the existing tennis courts. As a result, not only will the courts be improved, but also the runoff from the adjacent parking lot will filter through a new treatment system. The project also includes a 16,000-gallon underground storage tank near Martha Washington Park that will work in unison with the larger tank. All these improvements help protect public health and improve water quality in Lake Washington. And to add to the benefits, there will be a new section of natural area for aquatic habitat. You can see all the details of this amazing project on SPU’s North Henderson project page.

Sewer Rehab Crew Keeps Our Waters Clean

Rehab crew

Rain or shine, working 365 days a year, these dedicated folks make sure that what we flush goes to the sewage plant and not into our local waters. This out of sight system requires constant maintenance, and Seattle Public Utilities’ Sewer Rehab crews are on the job. They are a sixteen-person unit who successfully completed 151 repairs last year. They have a track record of fixing the problem within two days of a sewer blockage report. “We work hard and do our best to get in and out of the neighborhood without too much impact”, reports a team lead, Patrick Pabon. The work looks like a surgery, where the crew removes the skin layer of the street, and then, via digital communications with the backhoe operator, carefully digs down to just the right depth of the pipe or vein without breaking it. “It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it,” says team member, Zack Buell. Thank you Sewer Rehab Crew, and particularly Jeffery Williams who worked on Christmas morning. We tip our hats to you. For more information about what you can do to keep the sewer working well, please visit SPU’s side sewer website.

Natural Yard Care

Wagon with mulch

Spring is here and having a beautiful, natural garden is your reward. Got questions about the best way to support a healthy landscape? The Natural Yard Care Program recommends these five steps:

  1. Build Healthy Soil with Compost and Mulch.
  2. Choose the Right Plants for Your Site.
  3. Practice Smart Watering.
  4. Use Natural Pest, Weed and Disease Control Methods.
  5. Practice Natural Lawn Care.

Seattle Public Utilities, King County and Seattle Tilth are partnering to make it easier for you to know how to keep your yard beautiful and beneficial. Using these techniques conserve water, save time and money. And a big bonus, you will likely see more pollinators and birds visiting your property! Get expert answers by calling the Garden Hotline, (206) 633-0224, or visit the website to find classes and more information at

Breaking News

Give Salmon a Break

Check out this great article on how copper free brakes will protect salmon.

SPU Projects

SPU is working hard all over the city to make this a great place to live. Check out our current capital improvement projects.


Free Auto 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 Garden Rebates

Are you eligible? Visit to fine out.

Water Quality Hotline

Spot it? Spill it? SPU’s got it! Report water pollution online or call (206) 386-1800.

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Outreach Coordinator: Susan Harper