Surface Water Management (SWM)


Business Hours
(425) 398-8900
After Hours
(206) 296-8100



The Surface Water Management Division of Public Works (SWM) is responsible for the comprehensive management of the City's man-made and natural surface water systems.  The overarching goal of SWM is to develop, maintain, and improve a surface water system that serves the community, enhances the quality of life, and protects the environment.  SWM staff work diligently to ensure that public surface water and stormwater systems continue to function properly, which include over 4,550 catch basins and manholes, 69 miles of drainage pipes, 13 miles of ditches, and over 200 flow control and water quality facilities.  The City also contains numerous privately owned and maintained surface water and stormwater systems, which SWM staff inspect and regulate, including an additional 2,400 catch basins and manholes, 47.5 miles of drainage pipes, 6 miles of ditches, and 130 flow control and water quality facilities.  Additionally, the City is abundant with natural resources, including hundreds of acres of forests, wetlands, and floodplains and several miles of shoreline, including Lake Washington, Sammamish River and numerous smaller streams.  These natural resources are located throughout the City on both public and private lands.


What is Surface Water Management?

Goal: Develop, maintain, manage, and improve a surface water system that serves the community, enhances the quality of life, and protects the environment (Surface Water Element of 2014 Comprehensive Plan).


In Washington, most of the municipalities are permitted under the National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System, or NPDES, to discharge stormwater into “waters of the state”. In the big picture, the permit sets forth guidelines and requirements for municipalities to follow ensuring that they are discharging the cleanest water possible into Washington’s lakes, rivers, and sounds. Kenmore has a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), which boils down to a city-owned system that conveys only stormwater, no sewage. The MS4 is how the stormwater will move to the waters of the state. 


The SWM Division provides all surface water and stormwater related services for the City of Kenmore.  Please note that SWM is not associated with the water and sewer district currently providing water and sewer service within the City.  Please refer to Northshore Utility District for questions regarding your water and sewer services and they can be reached at (425) 398-4400.




Last updated: Thu, 02/15/2018 - 1:42pm