South Thornton Natural Drainage System (NDS) Project

Enhancing our communities with natural drainage systems.

Welcome to the South Thornton NDS Online Open House!

When it rains in Northeast Seattle, pollution from our streets runs into Thornton Creek untreated. This is not healthy for the creek or for people. The good news is that there is something we can do!


Natural Drainage Systems consist of shallow depressions built in the roadway shoulder (the space between the street edge and the property line) and are filled with deep-rooted plants and spongy soils that temporarily hold and clean polluted stormwater from streets. These features capture and clean pollutants before they can reach Thornton Creek.

We’re partnering with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to incorporate walkways into some of the streets that do not currently have formalized sidewalks, which aligns with community requests to install pedestrian improvements as a part of this project. 

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is planning to build natural drainage systems in your neighborhood in late 2022/early 2023. This project is being led by SPU and includes funding from the King County Flood Control District.

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