Burien Washington

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New and Redevelopment - Stormwater Management
2016 King County Surface Water Design Manual EFFECTIVE BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2017

Burien's surface water features (lakes, wetlands, streams, and Puget Sound) are a significant part of our natural beauty and rich heritage. Spawning salmon, meandering streams, and clean water are important natural resources which must be managed wisely to protect their value. With this in mind, Burien takes steps to preserve and restore the natural environment through managing the stormwater runoff created by new and redevelopment projects within the City.

Through the end of last year, Burien had been utilizing the 2009 King County Surface Water Design Manual. In order to comply with the City’s current NPDES Stormwater Permit from the WA Dept. of Ecology, late last year the City adopted the updated 2016 King County Surface Water Design Manual, which became effective for all new development and redevelopment projects submitting applications beginning January 1, 2017.

This Surface Water Design Manual contains the requirements and standards for designing stormwater management systems in the City of Burien. As part of the permit approval process for certain types of permits for proposed projects, Burien requires the construction of surface water and storm water management systems to mitigate the impacts on natural and existing man-made drainage systems.

The most significant change to the new King County manual is the addition of Low Impact Development (LID) BMPs (called Flow Control BMPs in the manual), which will be required for nearly all development projects within the City. These BMPs include facilities such as bioretention (AKA rain gardens), permeable pavements, dispersion, and onsite infiltration.

Note:  As described in the 2016 King County Surface Water Design Manual, existing site conditions shall be considered historic site conditions. Historic site conditions are those that existed on the site prior to any development in the Puget Sound region (ref. BMC. 13.10.140). Historic site conditions shall be assumed to be forest cover.

More information on the new King County manual is available here:
2016 King County Surface Water Design Manual

Also, the Summary of Changes from the 2009 manual to the current one is available here:
2016 Summary of Changes

Please direct your comments or questions to Heungkook Lim at (206) 248-5516, or


Information on current projects utilizing the 2009 King County Surface Water Design Manual

The 2016 King County manual became effective on January 1, 2017, and will apply to all new development and redevelopment projects submitting applications for permits after that date. Vesting into the 2009 manual will be allowed for projects that submitted complete permit applications on or before December 31, 2016.

The 2009 King County manual is available here in pdf format:
2009 King County Surface Water Design Manual






400 SW 152nd St, Suite 300  /  Burien, WA 98166  /  Ph: (206) 241-4647  /  Fax: (206) 248-5539
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