Surface & Stormwater
Surface water staff manage the city’s stormwater system and work with residents, businesses and property owners to reduce stormwater pollution, promote private stormwater management and protect our rivers, streams and groundwater. The City spans 22 distinct drainage basins in three different watersheds. Runoff from homes, roads and parking lots makes its way to Lake Washington, the Snohomish River and Port Gardner Bay. View or download our map, Everett drainage basins & watersheds (PDF).
Public comment on the 2020 Stormwater Management Program Plan Draft (PDF) will be accepted until March 18, 2020.
The City’s Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) describes actions taken in 2019 to maintain permit compliance and reduce stormwater runoff to Everett’s waterways. It also lays out planned SWMP activities for the coming year.
See the stormwater program tab below for more information.
We ask that you report:
- Spills, even if accidental
- Clogged storm drains
- Illicit discharges or connections
Watch our video, "City of Everett Stormwater & You."
Learn more about how to spot illicit discharge. View or download, Warning signs of illicit discharge (PDF). There are a few situations where natural occurring phenomenon can appear to be serious pollution problems. View or download, Natural occurring concerns (PDF).
Many times stormwater runoff is not treated before it is released into streams, rivers, lakes and Puget Sound. Approximately 75% of all pollution in Puget Sound comes from every day activities. There are many every day choices that you can make to help minimize pollution in our waterways.
To learn more, view information listed below:
- 10 ways to prevent stormwater pollution (PDF).
- Car washing (PDF)
- Pet waste dispensers (PDF) flyer for multi-family complexes.
- The poop problem (PDF) flyer. Poop Solution kits are available for local veterinary clinics to distribute to their clients.
Contact Apryl Hynes, Public Information & Education Specialist, email or 425-257-8992 for more information.
The City of Everett offers some short-term and long-term volunteer opportunities that help protect our surface water quality. You can:
- Volunteer to pick-up litter through Adopt a street
- Keep a Mutt Mitt dispenser filled
- Mark storm drains to remind people that only water should go down those drains.
Visit our volunteer opportunities webpage to learn more.
Everett and other urban areas that collect stormwater runoff in municipal storm sewers and discharge it to surface waters are required to have a permit under the federal Clean Water Act. This permit, called the NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit, requires Everett to submit an annual report, and create and implement a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) that includes:
- Comprehensive stormwater planning
- Public education and outreach
- Public involvement and participation
- Mapping and documentation
- Illicit discharge detection and elimination
- Runoff control from new development, redevelopment and construction sites
- Operations and maintenance
- Source Control Program
The City’s Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) describes actions the city took in 2019 to maintain compliance with the Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit (Permit) to reduce stormwater runoff to Everett’s waterways. This SWMP outlines all the requirements of the Permit and a summary of the City’s work program between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 to maintain compliance with conditions of the Permit. The SWMP is also written to inform the public of planned SWMP activities for each stormwater program component planned for the upcoming year.
View or download the 2020 Stormwater Management Program Plan Draft (PDF) for more information. Public comment on this document will be accepted until March 18, 2020.
In Everett, some stormwater discharges to water bodies and some is captured in a combined sewer system and conveyed to our wastewater treatment plant, called the Everett Water Pollution Control Facility. View our sewer webpage for information on how we clean wastewater.
The City of Everett, through its NPDES Municipal Stormwater Permit, is responsible for ensuring that all private stormwater drainage systems that are connected to the City’s municipal stormwater system are properly maintained and operated.
Commercial property owners, multifamily residential properties and owners of single family residential properties with privately maintained drainage and stormwater facilities are required by Everett Municipal Code 14.56.130 to maintain their stormwater facilities.
City inspectors will visit your property annually to bi-yearly to visually inspect stormwater facilities to assess their condition and identify required maintenance or repair. If any portion needs maintenance or repair the property owners will be notified by letter or email. The property owner is then responsible for completing the necessary maintenance within the time frame specified.
The City has prepared a list of firms providing drainage system maintenance services for reference.
Surface water comprehensive plan (SWCP)
The City of Everett surface water comprehensive plan consists of 4 volumes, including a summary & implementation plan along with 3 watershed volumes. The Lake Washington, Port Gardner Bay and Snohomish River watershed volumes have individual basin plans for areas that drain to streams & lakes. View or download, our SWCP (PDF).
The City has been working on efforts to restore salmon habitat at Smith Island for over 20 years. After construction of a restoration project, long-term biological monitoring is required by regulatory agencies to demonstrate that the site is meeting the intended environmental functions. Once that is achieved the City provides local stewardship in perpetuity for those areas. Additionally, the City performs water quality monitoring of Silver Lake and local streams. To find out more about these efforts visit the Environmental stewardship webpage.
Visit the Stormwater technical resources webpage to find out more about stormwater requirements for new development and redevelopment in the City of Everett, stormwater mapping, and resources for permitting.
In a natural environment, soil and plants help absorb rain. But in our urban environment, where streets, buildings, and parking lots cover the ground, rain washes over these hard surfaces resulting in erosion and flooding that can harm properties and wildlife habitat. The resulting stormwater runoff also carries sediment, oil, fertilizers and other pollutants to local rivers and streams.
Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) uses vegetation, soils and other elements and practices to restore some of the natural processes needed to manage surface water and create healthier urban environments.
Sign-up for the city’s Green Home, Green Garden e-newsletter, contact Apryl Hynes, Public Information & Education Specialist, email.
Our yards are places for fun, beauty and relaxing. But, in taking care of them, we often use water inefficiently, produce a lot of yard waste and overuse chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides. These products can be bad for us and the environment. By making some simple changes in our yards habits, we can save time, money and protect the health of our families and the environment.
Everett offers free green gardening workshops to help community members garden more naturally. Join us for our spring workshops in April. View or download the Green Home, Green Garden flyer (PDF).
To start green gardening today, view or download the guide, Natural Yard Care (PDF) and learn the 5 steps that will make your piece of the planet a healthier place to live.
Trees are an important tool for managing runoff. They provide a surface area that rain water can land on before it evaporates. They reduce erosion and promote infiltration of stormwater runoff. Refer to Everett’s tree program webpage to learn more.
Sign-up for Everett’s Green Home, Green Garden e-newsletter, contact Apryl Hynes, Public Information & Education Specialist, email.
Rain gardens are a landscaped area that collects, absorbs and filters stormwater runoff from roof tops, driveways and other areas that don’t allow water to soak in.
Learn about Everett’s rain garden rebate program, which offers up to a $2,500 rebate, on our Rain Gardens webpage.
View or download our brochure, rain garden rebate (PDF).
Rain barrels are a great way to collect and store rain water runoff from your roof for later use. The City of Everett offers one-day sales and make-it, take-it workshops in the spring and fall to help you take advantage of this free resource.
To learn more about rain barrels, view or download the rain barrel flyer (PDF).
Visit our rain barrels webpage for more information and schedule.