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.

Learn more about Executive Somers's proposal to move SWM into the new Department of Conservation & Natural Resources.

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Stay connected! Sign up to get the latest SWM news sent directly to your inbox. Get quarterly updates about:

Visit the SWM News page to read past newsletters and see a collection of stories about SWM's work in the community.

Water Quality Information
Drainage & Road Flooding Information
Salmon & Marine Habitat Information
River Flooding Information

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. 

Fireworks_WaterQualityIssueGood 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.

Do Not:

  • 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. 


2020 SWM Highlights Report

The 2020 SWM Highlights report shows how we’re putting local dollars to work for county residents. You can access the six-page report to read more about projects, stories and other SWM accomplishments in 2020 here

This is a photo of the 2020 SWM Highlights Report cover image

 You can find a link to the previous year's report here.

​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.
Fish Passage Video with Gregg Farris

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.

  • SWM Utility Business Plan - Executive Summary
  • SWM Utility Business Plan - Final Report
  • SWM Advisory Panel report (PDF)
  • SWM ratepayer survey:
  • SWM CIP 2020-2025

    SWM 6 Year CIP 2020-2025