By using simple housekeeping practices around your work and home, Federal Way residents, business owners and employees can minimize stormwater pollution that reaches our receiving waters (such as Steel Lake, Hylebos Creek and Puget Sound). But first, it is important to understand the difference between Federal Way’s two drainage systems.
The two drainage systems in the City of Federal Way are the sanitary sewer system and the storm drain system. While the sanitary sewer system conveys household wastewater to the Lakota sewage treatment plant, the storm drain system prevents flooding by carrying excess rainwater away from city streets into nearby ponds, wetlands, creeks, lakes and Puget Sound.
As rain falls and flows across roads, driveways and yards on its way to the nearest storm drain, it picks up pollutants on the ground such as oil, automotive fluids, paint, construction debris, lawn chemicals, pet wastes, cigarette butts and other garbage. Sometimes people even dump pollutants like leftover paint or soapy car wash water directly down storm drains!
Because the stormwater system contains no filters and does not receive treatment, it carries pollution straight into our local waters. Measures that reduce the amount of contaminants in stormwater, and improve the quality of our water resources, are called best management practices (BMPs).