Drainage and flooding is a major concern for many Shoreline residents. The Surface Water Utility manages drainage issues through maintenance and upgrades of the stormwater drainage system. Drainage maps with storm pipe and stream network are available on the Drainage Maps page. Examples of drainage problems include clogged storm drains and ditches and localized ponding of water in City streets.

To find out how your can help prevent flooding on your street or property, visit these pages:

Water Ponding

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.

If you are in need of assistance please 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 Green Home Remodel Guide: Managing Rainwater).

Below are additional 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 searched for using key words "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.

Surface Water Small Works Program

The Small Works drainage program addresses small drainage problems within the City’s right-of-way. A public right-of-way is any sidewalk, planting strip, alley, street or pathway, improved or unimproved, that is dedicated to public use.

Surface Water Utility Small Works Projects are small capital improvement projects that address smaller drainage issues in neighborhoods all over the City. The Surface Water Utility generally constructs two to three projects each year.