stormwater runoff

Preventing Urban Flooding
5:01 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Seattle Park is Giant Storm Drain

The stormwater holding area at 30th Avenue East and East John can hold nearly two million gallons of stormwater during very large storms. Its expansion was completed in December 2009.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

Recent summer storms have many locals concerned about urban flooding, or fast-flowing water overwhelming storm drains.

In Seattle’s Madison Valley neighborhood, outdated infrastructure led to a tragic death in 2006, but the city says the chronic flooding there should be fixed now.

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Environment
5:01 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Sediment health declining in central Puget Sound

Environmental specialist and lead taxonomist Kathy Welch examines a sediment sample pulled from Elliott Bay. A new study of the sediments shows a dramatic decline in the health of benthic invertibrates over a ten-year period, despite lower toxin levels.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

Scientists examining the health of Puget Sound have uncovered a new mystery involving the very bottom of the food chain.

A new study from the state Department of Ecology shows toxins in sediments have declined over the past decade. But it also found declining health of the creatures that live in the sediment. 

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Environment
5:46 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Seattle Mayor aiming high on green infrastructure for stormwater

This bioswale in Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood manages about 80,000 gallons of stormwater annually. It was installed as part of a pedestrian improvement project and exemplifies how the city says it will reach its new ambitious goal.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

When you look around the streets of Seattle, you can expect to see less concrete and more greenery being put in over the next 12 years.

The City is planning to dramatically increase its use of green infrastructure to treat stormwater runoff.

Stormwater runoff is acknowledged as the single largest source of pollution in Puget Sound.

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Winter Storm
9:45 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Fast melt could pose environmental challenges

Brian Scollard takes a break from shoveling outside his house in Bothell. He likes the de-icer Seattle has been using, but isn't sure if it's good for the environment.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

It’s a tough commute out there for anyone who has to drive. Snow is melting fast, and ice is a big danger.

But in Seattle at least, the consensus seems to be that the city has improved a lot in keeping main arterials clear, by deploying trucks that preemptively spray de-icer and sprinkle rock salt on the roads when it snows.

It’s not without environmental risks, but officials say they’re doing what they can to strike the balance between maintaining public safety and limiting the risks from polluted runoff.

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Environment
11:40 am
Thu October 20, 2011

Enviros say new stormwater guidelines too lax

Stormwater runoff must be reduced and monitored under draft rules just issued by the state Department of Ecology.
Thirteen of Clubs photo Flickr

It’s the single largest source of pollution entering Puget Sound – rain that hits pavement and carries grease, metals and other toxins into the water.

The Department of Ecology has just issued new rules that aim to keep stormwater runoff in check. However, several environmental groups complain the new rules are full of loopholes.

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Environment
2:04 pm
Fri June 3, 2011

Rainwater gardens preventing toxic runoff into Puget Sound

Anne Butler, Community Education Programs Coordinator with People for Puget Sound, shows off a "Rain Wise" garden in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood.She says the native plants and troughs that replaced a lawn here filter runoff naturally.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

The forecast is for sunny skies this weekend and some of the warmest temps we've seen all year. 

But when it rains a lot – as it has been lately – the runoff from city streets and houses pours toxins straight into Puget Sound. 

How homeowners can address that kind of water pollution is the subject of a series of neighborhood tours put on throughout the region this summer.  The first one is this weekend in Seattle.

 

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News Roundup
7:18 am
Thu January 20, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

Video captured at an underwater storm drain in Elliott Bay earlier this week, showing mud and contaminants billowing into the Sound. The images were captured by divers, including Laura James.
Courtesy Laura James

Making headlines this morning:

  • Puget Sound Murky From Stormwater Runoff
  • More Heavy Rains Coming, with Potential Flooding
  • Tacoma Considers Closing a High School

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