Stormwater mapping in King County: A glimpse into the world of tracking where the rain goes

Crossposted from GIS & You

By Greg Babinski

Can you imagine a city without storm sewers? In 2007 I experienced what it is like to be in a city without storm sewers during a heavy rainfall. I was starting a trip across Russia in Vladivostok, a beautiful city with friendly people. One morning it rained during breakfast and when I left my hotel to explore the city, I found all the streets flooded calf-deep. In the distance I noticed people taking boards and bricks that had been stacked along sidewalks to create little narrow and rickety footbridges.

Fortunately for us in King County, we are well-served by a diverse network of stormwater facilities. King County’s Water and Land Resources Division (WLRD) is responsible for the stormwater system in unincorporated King County. Recently, Alison Sienkiewicz, WLRD stormwater pollution prevention inspector, wrote an article about a team that used GIS tools in the field to map and inventory the King County stormwater system to comply with requirements of the County’s Phase 1 Municipal Stormwater Permit.

Alison’s article, Stormwater mapping: A glimpse into the world of tracking where the rain goes, was published in WLRD’s The Downstream Blog. The WLRD stormwater GIS mapping team got their feet wet so that you won’t have to next winter.

To learn more about King County stormwater services and information, visit WLRD’s Stormwater website.