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Storm Drainage

Spill / Flooding Hotline

Other water pollution or drainage concerns?
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The City of Auburn has recently created a draft update to the Comprehensive Storm Drainage Plan. This plan is being presented for public comment and feedback before its final publication in the fall of 2024. The Comprehensive Plan includes various policies, project plans, explanations of regulations and programs, and information on the function and direction of the storm utility. Please send comments, questions, and feedback on the Plan to [email protected].

Comprehensive Storm Drainage Plan (PDF)

For questions concerning billing, email the Utility Billing Division or call 253-931-3038.

The Storm Drainage Utility was created to address recurring local flooding within the City of Auburn. The focus of the Utility is to effectively manage stormwater within the City through:

  • Drainage system planning
  • System improvement
  • Development regulation
  • System maintenance

The Storm Drainage Utility operates and maintains approximately 242 miles of pipe, 13,200 catch basins and manholes, 260 stormwater facilities, 7 pump stations and 40 miles of ditch. The storm system is designed to convey rainwater from the streets and properties of the City to nearby creeks and rivers.

In 2007 the City was issued a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit by the Washington State Department of Ecology. This requires the City to prepare and implement a stormwater management program to improve the quality of the water discharged from the City's storm drainage system into the Green and White Rivers, Mill Creek, and into the groundwater below the City. The Storm Drainage Utility coordinates the City's NPDES response as well as works on regional efforts to manage flooding and improve water quality.

Please check the Stormwater Permit page for more information.

New development, redevelopment, construction sites, and storm drainage maintenance activities are regulated by the City.  Requirements for these activities may be found in the City of Auburn Surface Water Management Manual (SWMM).  The Auburn SWMM consists of the Department of Ecology's 2019 Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington (SWMMWW) and the City of Auburn Supplemental Manual.

Please check the Standards & Publications page for these documents.

2015 Comprehensive Storm Drainage Plan (PDF 13 MB) 

Stormwater Pollution

Clear DrainThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies stormwater as the biggest source of pollution to lakes, rivers, and streams in our country. The source of this pollution has been traced to how we as citizens live our daily lives. Rainwater picks up pollutants from the air, buildings, parking lots and from road surfaces. These pollutants include chemicals, oils, sand, dirt, pet waste and other debris.

Storm drains carry rainwater to the nearest natural body of water. Disposing of oils, detergents, pet waste and other materials into the storm drain is the same as dumping them directly into a stream, wetland, lake or Puget Sound.

We encourage people who live, work and play in Auburn to help keep our stormwater and natural water bodies clean. Removing contaminants from stormwater is not nearly as effective as eliminating the pollutant at the source. You can help us out by using some of the following suggestions:

  • Keep leaves, yard waste or other debris out of the storm drains
  • Report spills or water pollution, in the City of Auburn, to 253-931-3048
  • Clean up your pet waste - bag it and put it in the trash
  • Wash your car at a car wash, or wash it on the lawn or where the wash water won't go into a storm drain
  • Use fertilizers and pesticides sparingly
  • Fix leaks of auto fluids and recycle oil at a local auto parts store

For more information on protecting waterways, visit the Puget Sound Starts Here website.

Watch the video: When it rains, it pours.

For more information view the Storm Water Management Manual and Comprehensive Storm Plan.

Stewardship Opportunities

Help restore our natural areas to encourage native species regeneration, provide habitat for wildlife, and to provide the cool, clean water which is critical for the native fish that populate our streams and rivers. Volunteer projects such as invasive species removal, native planting and plant maintenance are available in Auburn and across the region.

Here are links to local organizations that coordinate stewardship events.

If you are interested in volunteering to conduct a stewardship project in one of Auburn's parks, please call 253-931-3043.

In addition, you can check out the Special Events page for information about the annual Clean Sweep event which is held each year in April.