Meadowbrook Community Council

Supporting community spirit and creating a connected environment in NE Seattle's Meadowbrook community and surrounding neighborhoods.

Thornton Creek Natural Drainage System Project

Thornton Creek Natural Drainage System Project
click to download (pdf)

SPU is working on a project to install natural drainage systems in the Thornton Creek basin. These systems consist of shallow depressions in the public right-of-way, or “planter strip,” filled with deep-rooted plants and spongy soils that temporarily hold and clean polluted stormwater from streets and sidewalks. 

Why Thornton Creek? 

Stormwater picks up pollutants from streets— including oil, heavy metals, and fertilizers— and flows into the Seattle’s creeks through ditches or pipes. Thornton Creek is a salmon-bearing urban creek with degraded water quality, and SPU is performing this work to remove pollutants from the stormwater before it reaches the creek. 

What’s Happening Now? 

We completed our technical analysis of potential locations for the natural drainage systems, and the project team is starting the design phase of this project. Throughout 2019 and 2020, our team will be engaging residents near the project site locations to share more information and gather feedback. 

Stay in the Know 

For more information about the project, please visit projects/thornton-natural-drainage 

You can also reach out to SPU Project Manager, Luis Ramirez, at

Share your experiences with flooding and sewer backups 
Take our survey:

Seattle Public Utilities is studying flooding in the drainage and wastewater systems. Information you and your neighbors share will help us understand where the system isn’t working and plan future upgrades. Please fill out our online survey. We are especially interested in hearing from you if you have experienced flooding or sewer backups, noticed flooding in the street or sidewalk in your neighborhood, or if you own a building/house in Seattle. If you’d like a paper survey, or to complete the survey over the phone, please call (206) 274-4944. After filling out the survey, you can enter into a raffle to recieve one of several gift card prizes. 

What if I have problems now? 
  • For emergencies, call 911 
  • If you experience sewer backups or bad flooding during a storm, call our 24/7 Emergency Services line at (206) 386-1800 
  • For non-urgent plugged storm drains, use our online drain report by visiting www.seattle. gov/utilities/services/drainage-and-sewer; a crew member will respond in 3-5 business days 

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *