What is Stormwater?


Because of stormwater, Puget Sound Starts Here in Sumner, in our yards, on our streets and on our sidewalks. Together, everyday choices we make pollute our waterways more than any industrial spill. So together, we can make choices that keep our water healthy.

Wastewater (blue arrow) goes down household drains to be processed at the Wastewater Treatment Facility before returning to our rivers.

Stormwater (green arrows) runs down our pavement–gutters, sidewalks, roads, driveways, etc.–into the storm drains and straight to  the White and Puyallup Rivers without any treatment.

Common Hazards & Easy Solutions

Cars: oil leaks on your road or driveway and with the next rainfall, runs right into the rivers that we enjoy. Call it a mini oil spill.  SOLUTION: Fix oil leaks as quickly as possible.  While waiting to take the car in, put cardboard down to keep the oil from leaking onto the road or driveway. 

Pets: when Fido does his business in your yard and you don’t pick it up right away, the next rainfall washes bits of that waste right into the river, similar to letting raw sewage go into our water systems.  SOLUTION: Pick up after your pets and dispose waste properly in the garbage or flush down a toilet.

Lawns: when you overfertilize your lawn, dangerous chemicals wash right into our water systems.  SOLUTION: Try organic alternatives or Sumner Grow biosolid.  Or, make sure you fertilize using the correct amount at the right time.  Download an easy-to-use Fertilizer poster to help you (pdf).

Car Washes: when you wash your car on pavement, either at home or at a charity car wash, you send suds, oil & grime right into the rivers.  SOLUTION: wash on gravel or grass.  The water then goes into the ground which naturally filters all the pollutants out.  Or, check out the charity car wash kit to keep your event Clean & Green.

Construction: projects can have major impacts on stormwater.  SOLUTION: Learn more about how to incorporate stormwater safety into construction projects.

Medicine: when you flush unused prescription drugs down the toilet, chemicals still get through the Wastewater Treatment Facility and into rivers.  SOLUTION: Drop off unused prescription medicines at Sumner Police or any other take-back location. 

Paint, Oil & More: when you don’t know what to do with hazardous substances like left-over paint and used motor oil, sometimes you feel like just washing them down the nearest drain, which is the same as pouring them into the rivers and Sound.  SOLUTION: Just a little bit of information helps you recycle correctly.  Find out where to recycle various substances


Do you see a problem happening?  Let us know.
City of Sumner Public Works Dept.
If it’s after-hours, still call this same number and voicemail will guide you to obtain access after-hours.

Stormwater Comprehensive Plan

2017 Stormwater Management Report & NPDES Permit Documents

To comment about this report or Sumner’s Stormwater, send a message to dougb@sumnerwa.gov.

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