Stormwater runoff is the main cause of pollution in Puget Sound. Every time it rains, water washes off of rooftops, across parking lots, driveways and streets, and finds its way into a storm drain. It carries with it toxic materials including oil, solvents and tire wear from cars, pet waste, bits of trash, pesticides and herbicide residue.

In some areas of Seattle, the storm drain system discharges this polluted water directly into the Sound without any filtration or treatment. Other parts of the city have combined stormwater and sanitary sewer lines that carry it all to sewage treatment plants, which sounds like a good thing. That is, until you find out that during a big storm, when the pumping stations are overwhelmed with volume, they release the combined raw sewage and stormwater into the Sound to keep it from backing up into homes and causing flooding. 

Obviously, the best way to reduce pollution in Puget Sound is to limit the amount of stormwater that enters the sewer system. On this page, there are links and videos to help you find out more about managing runoff and what you can do in your home garden to help.

This video was produced by EarthFix and aired on the PBS Newshour recently. It starts off with West Seattle's Diver Laura taking us beneath the surface to see what a storm outfall looks like.

Washington State University produced this very thorough and informative video that shows how to build a rain garden, step by step.

This article, Seattle Park is a Giant Storm Drain, tells about how the city is stepping up to the challenge of managing stormwater.