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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 are an alternative to traditional stormwater management systems. They 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 reach Thornton Creek. 

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

Pedestrian safety is important to SPU and one of our project goals. We’re partnering with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to incorporate sidewalks into the streets that do not currently have formalized sidewalks, which aligns with community requests to install sidewalks as a part of this project. 

Explore this site to:

Online Open House Content

3. Final Site Designs

Explore the final site designs

4. Share Your Feedback

Share your thoughts and questions

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