Avoid flooding problems by taking precautions

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Drainage and flooding is a major concern for many Shoreline residents. The City manages drainage problems through maintenance and upgrades of the stormwater drainage system. Watershed maps with storm pipe and stream network are available here.

Examples of drainage problems include clogged storm drains and ditches and localized ponding of water in City streets.

Maintenance worker clearing drain
Photo courtesy City of Shoreline

Identifying a Drainage Problem

Drainage problems can cause significant damage to your home, property and the City of Shoreline storm drain system. It is important to identify and correct drainage problems when they occur. Before starting any drainage improvements on your property, fully identify all parts of your current drainage system. Create a detailed map of your property, showing all impervious surfaces and drainage features. Shoreline’s Public Works Department can provide information on the City’s storm drainage system in your area, which you could use to determine how your current system is connected to the City’s system and for the installation of additional components.

Shoreline residents in need of assistance contact the City at 206-801-2700.

Tips to Prevent Drainage Problems

To reduce the amount of impervious surface area on your property (and decrease the amount of stormwater runoff), consider alternatives when planning new patios, paths or driveways. Paving blocks, porous asphalt or other permeable materials can infiltrate water (see page 11 of the Managing Rainwater Guide). Green Home Remodel Guide Managing Rainwater

Tips to avoid future drainage problems:
  • Sweep your driveway instead of using a hose. This saves water and keeps dirt out of your drainage system.
  • Avoid the use of wood chip mulch around drain inlets or swales. The wood chips float and can be easily moved by runoff water.
  • Use caution when planting trees or shrubs. The roots may grow into underground drainage pipes disrupting your drainage system.
  • Install a removable connection between your downspouts and roof drains. Disconnecting downspouts during cleaning will help keep debris out of your drainage system.
  • Add screens on gutters to help keep debris out of your drainage system.
  • Help to keep catch basin inlets clear by keeping leaves off of the grates.

Drainage on your property

You as a property owner are responsible for the installation and maintenance of necessary drainage structures on your property. If your drainage problems seem too big for you to correct, there is professional help available.

There are many contractors and engineering firms that specialize in drainage problems. They can be found in the yellow pages under Drainage Contractors, and Engineers – Drainage.
The City of Shoreline requires homeowners to obtain building or grading permits before certain drainage projects begin. To find out more information about permit requirements, contact the City’s Planning and Community Development Department at 206-801-2500.


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