People planting plants in a rain garden lined with mulch

WaterWorks grants $5 million to community water quality improvement projects for 2022-23

Sixty-eight projects aimed at protecting and improving regional water quality will be launched in the new year, thanks to funding through King County’s WaterWorks Grant Program. The King County Council recently passed an ordinance approving the funding. The projects include a variety of approaches, including restoring stream and riverbanks, installing rain gardens, educating students and teachers,…

Green stormwater infrastructure & CSOs: In-depth media coverage

King County is working to control all our combined sewer overflows (CSOs) through several strategies. One way we are reducing CSOs is through natural drainage solutions, also known as green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), which use plants, trees, and soil to soak up the rain.These solutions help our neighborhoods manage stormwater naturally and on-site, and compliment…

A rain garden showing a shallow depression in the ground, with mulch, rocks, and plants

Celebrating RainWise pollution prevention milestones in the King County basin

As the days get shorter and we anticipate more rain in our forecast, we are celebrating a timely milestone—we just mailed our 1,000th RainWise rebate check in one of the eligible combined sewer overflow basins! Our utility strives to prevent pollution from entering our local waterways, and one way we are doing this is through…

Interns discussing environmental monitoring at Mini Mart City

Clean Water Interns & Accessibility

Since 2016, our utility’s education team has partnered with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust to lead the Clean Water Ambassador youth internship program. This summer the program returned as a hybrid experience, online learning mixed with in-person field trips, to learn about water systems, sustainability, watershed ecology, climate change and ways to take action…

Puget Sound view from the SoundGuardian boat

Reducing nitrogen in Puget Sound where it matters

King County is committed to protecting water quality and reducing harm to fish and aquatic life in Puget Sound’s shallow bays caused by human sources of nitrogen. The Department of Natural Resources and Parks supports a science-based approach that capitalizes on innovation and technology and focuses public resources where they can make a real difference.…

Green roof at Sunset Pump Station

Making projects sustainable, resilient, and equitable

King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) is being recognized for its commitment to sustainable communities and the environment. WTD’s Sunset / Heathfield Pump Stations and force main upgrade project was awarded an Envision® Silver Award this month for project sustainability. This is the second Envision-certified project for the region’s wastewater utility. In 2018, King County’s…

Savannah sparrows depend on healthy grasslands and meadows for food and places to raise their young.

Brightwater’s meadows grow greener

The Brightwater Trails area in Woodinville has been popular for families, dog walkers, birders, and runners since it opened. Three miles of trails have connected people to nature and art for over 10 years. This year, the trails provided a welcome breath of fresh air for people looking to get some socially distanced exercise outside.…

Starting a decade of improvements at West Point Treatment Plant

Built in 1966, West Point Treatment Plant is the largest wastewater treatment plant by volume in Washington state, and the third largest by average daily flow on the West Coast. Like much of the King County wastewater system, it’s more than 55 years old and many of it’s components reach their “end of life” each…

workers planting trees

Planting trees is part of restoring construction sites

Restoring natural areas after construction is an important part of our work. When we work on improving or fixing the regional sewer system, sometimes impacts are unavoidable. When construction impacts sensitive areas and landscapes, our contractor restores the site before the project is complete. That’s what happened at Discovery Park in Seattle, and this spring…

Screenshot from our virtual, sustainable yard care classes

Free sustainable yard classes for the community

We don’t just treat wastewater! One of the things our utility does is education on water issues and solutions for students and community members. When we couldn’t do in-person teaching due to COVID-19, our utility’s education team adapted many of our programs to be online. Recently, we partnered with the Snohomish Conservation District to offer…