Clean Water Plan

What’s the Clean Water Plan?

It’s time to make a plan.

King County is undertaking this large planning effort because it is facing critical—and expensive—decisions that will affect the region’s water quality.

We are facing new challenges, including a changing climate, aging pipes and wastewater treatment facilities, and a rising cost of living, and it’s time to make a plan for the future.

Photo of a team of Native people paddling a canoe through the Puget Sound.

King County protects water quality by cleaning the water that people use. We have hundreds of miles of pipes, pumps, tanks, treatment plants, and other equipment to collect, carry and treat wastewater. We recycle what we can and send it back to nature. King County and other local governments help manage stormwater facilities that protect water bodies from pollutants that run off streets, parking lots and other paved surfaces.

Diagram showing how King County treats water from our homes and businesses

Click image to enlarge.

What will the plan do?

The Clean Water Plan will guide decisions about our wastewater system and how to protect our local waterways and health in the future. The plan will also look at how we are managing water that runs off streets, parking lots, driveways, lawns and sidewalks when it rains. King County is preparing the plan so that we make the right investments at the right time.

The goal of the plan is to identify policies, programs, and projects that reflect community priorities and guide us toward the best water quality outcomes for the region. When complete, the plan will provide a path for water quality investments in the near-term as well as long-term over the next 40 years.

What makes this plan and your input so important?

  • Our future investments are a major chance to benefit the economic, social and ecological health of the region.
  • We may find overlap between water quality investments and other issues that need attention—so we can meet multiple needs.
  • Solving all the regional water quality problems will take time and collaboration.

What will the planning process look like?

Our planning process will be divided into two main phases:

  1. Determining our future direction (2019–2020)
  2. Making a plan to get there (beginning in 2021)

Public input is important during this first phase. Complete our questionnaire at the end of this open house to help us identify what’s important to you and your community.

King County’s Clean Water Conversation

Phase 1: Determining our future direction

Gather information

How do you want to be involved? What is your relationship with the region’s rivers, lakes, and Puget Sound?

Spring 2019

Identify priorities

What are your top priorities for clean water? What is most important to consider?

Summer 2019

Imagine different futures

Do these different futures reflect our most important water quality considerations?

Late 2019

Explore tradeoffs

What are the tradeoffs among the different futures? What do they mean for our priorities?

Mid 2020

Draft a direction for our future

Fall 2020

Make a plan to get there

Once we decide where we are going and why, what are the best actions we can take to get there?

Phase 2 starts 2021