Surface Water Management
Keeping People Safe and Waters Healthy
Snohomish County provides essential services to safeguard your health and our environment through its stormwater utility, Surface Water Management (SWM). You can see us in your community as we help people fix drainage problems, clean up water pollution and improve stormwater systems. These services are funded by a utility charge paid by people in unincorporated Snohomish County.
Learn more about SWM utility charges and billing.
Sign up to receive SWM news
Stay connected! Sign up to get the latest SWM news sent directly to your inbox. Get quarterly updates about:
- Upcoming speakers, events and workshops
- Flood information
- Water quality findings for lakes and streams
- Drainage issues
- Habitat restoration projects
Visit the SWM News page to read past newsletters and see a collection of stories about SWM's work in the community.
Good Firework Housekeeping for Water Quality
Help us keep our rivers, lakes, and streams healthy by practicing good firework housekeeping. Fireworks have heavy metals, perchlorate and other pollutants that can harm people and the environment. The chemicals in fireworks can pollute our rivers, lakes, and streams when fireworks are detonated over waterbodies and when firework waste is not disposed of properly.
Good Housekeeping Tips
- Sweep streets and sidewalks of spent firework shells, stars, paper, carboard and fuses and properly dispose of the waste.
- Collect and manage “duds” following manufacturer’s instruction.
- Soak used fireworks in water. Dispose of soaked fireworks in garbage and pour the water into your grassy area away from stormwater catch basins, ditches, or ponds.
- Consider asking firework suppliers and manufacturers for fireworks with low or no perchlorate.
- Leave spent firework shells, starts, paper, carboard or fuses on sidewalks, roads, or allow to enter stormwater catch basins, ditches, or ponds.
- Dump water used to soak fireworks into stormwater catch basins, ditches, or ponds.
The Snohomish County Fire Marshall has a bulletin on where it is legal and illegal to discharge fireworks and tips to keep safe.
If you have questions or would like to report a water pollution concern, please call the Water Quality Complaint Hotline at 425-388-6481 or use the on-line water pollution reporting system.
Video highlights fish passage barriers
The Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) produced a video highlighting the issue of fish passage barriers and Snohomish County's efforts to address the problem. Watch video to learn more.
2019 Snohomish County LID Implementation Report
SWM continues to partner with Snohomish County's Planning and Development Services and Engineering Services to track the implementation of stormwater low impact development (LID) best management practices (BMPs) in this updated report. This report includes constructed stormwater LID systems, both private systems permitted by the County and public systems constructed by the County in 2019. Some examples of LID BMPs include rain gardens, bioretention, permeable pavements, roof downspout controls, dispersion, vegetated roofs and water re-use.
Learn more: 2019 Snohomish County LID Implementation Report (PDF)
Discretionary Fund rebates now available!
The Stillaguamish Discretionary Fund rebate program helps landowners, community groups, and non-profit organizations carry out water quality improvement projects in the former Stillaguamish Clean Water District. The voluntary, non-regulatory program offers funding for small projects on private or public property that will provide shellfish protection benefits in Port Susan or South Skagit Bay.
To learn more about the program and access application materials, visit: Discretionary Funds Rebate Program.
Please note that funding for rebates is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis until program funds are exhausted.
SWM Utility Business Plan
Snohomish County has completed its SWM Utility Business Plan to improve stormwater utility services we provide you while keeping costs down. Visit the SWM Business Plan webpage to learn more.