National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

The Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) has issued an updated Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit to Washington cities, including Burien. This permit went into effect on August 1, 2019 and is in effect for five years.

The next five-year Municipal Phase II Permit has been released in draft form. This new Permit will go into effect on August 1, 2024, and last for five years. Review the draft permit here.

Stormwater Management Program

The Burien Public Works Department continually works to update and improve its Stormwater Management Program (SWMP). This process involves revising programs to comply with the updated Municipal Stormwater Permit, as well as implementing new programs and tasks that are new to the permit. This page provides an overview of the major programs the City is currently implementing. This list is a work in progress, and will be updated as programs are revised or implemented.

The 2024 revision of the City of Burien's Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) is now available, along with the NPDES Permit Annual Report for the Municipal Stormwater Permit.

As part of Burien’s Stormwater Management Program, and as required by the City’s Municipal Stormwater Permit, the City has implemented the following programs:

Public Education and Outreach

Burien has implemented several programs to provide public education and outreach opportunities for storm and surface water topics. A major goal is to reduce or eliminate behaviors and practices that cause or contribute to adverse stormwater impacts. Learn more about Burien’s Stormwater Education and Outreach program.

Public Involvement and Participation

Burien has an ongoing program to promote stewardship of our watersheds, and to provide opportunities for the public to participate in environmental improvement projects. We have a dedicated stewardship officer for the Miller and Walker Creek Basins, who organizes and leads cleanup and restoration projects throughout the year. Annual salmon spawn surveys are also performed each fall in Miller and Walker Creeks, to help document fish populations and stream health. The Environmental Science Center also provides opportunities through their outreach efforts for public participation in environmental topics.

Learn more about Miller and Walker Creeks Stewardship.

Controlling Runoff from Construction Sites

The Municipal Stormwater Permit requires that jurisdictions provide measures for reducing pollutants and controlling runoff from new development, redevelopment, and construction site activities that disturb land areas one acre or greater. Thorough reviews of construction plans and routine inspections of construction sites are performed by City staff to ensure that no polluted water leaves a construction site and enters the City’s stormwater system or waterways.

If you see dirty water running off a construction site, please call Burien Public Works at (206) 248-5521.

Pollution Prevention and Operations Program

We have implemented a program for operations and maintenance (O&M) of Burien’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) that includes methods to prevent and reduce pollutant runoff into the storm and surface water system. This program includes annual inspections of all flow control and water quality stormwater facilities in Burien, both public and private, as well as increased inspections of City-owned catch basins every two years. Additionally, the City provides routine training opportunities for City staff in stormwater O&M and water quality related topics.

Source Control Business Inspection Program

The current Phase 2 NPDES Permit requires the City to implement a program to inspect local businesses that have operations or other activities which might result in discharge of pollution to our stormwater system, with inspections required beginning in 2023. Cities will be required to inspect 20% of listed businesses annually. City staff worked on developing this program throughout 2022, and began inspections in early 2023. Inspections will continue in 2024 and thereafter.

If you have questions about this inspection program, please call Burien Public Works at (206) 248-5521.

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE)

Burien has established a program to identify, trace, and remove illicit connections and discharges, including any spills, into our surface water. Per Burien Municipal Code (BMC) 13.10.240, there are certain prohibited and allowed discharges into surface, stormwater, and groundwater systems.

See below for reporting illegal spills or dumping. Additionally, in order to comply with current Permit requirements, the City has developed IDDE Field Screening methodology, which City staff began implementing in the summer of 2016. This includes inspecting stormwater outfalls throughout the City, with additional inspections upstream in the storm conveyance network if any signs of prohibited discharges or connections are suspected.

Reporting Spills

To report spills of oil or hazardous materials or illicit discharge into our stormwater system or natural waterways, call the City of Burien at (206) 248-5521. Examples include construction materials, paint, pesticides, fertilizers, soaps, detergents, and sewage.

If you observe a major spill or discharge which may be dangerous to life and health call 9-1-1 immediately and report it as a non-emergency call.

For more information, see the WA Department of Ecology website.

For comments or questions, contact Burien Public Works at (206) 248-5521 or [email protected].

Updated June 5, 2024