Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel: From Parking Lot to Channel Headwaters

The Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel project is part of a larger City of Seattle strategy for transforming an urban center's underutilized, auto-oriented office/retail area into a pedestrian-focused development with an emphasis of restoring a degraded surrounding environment. The project site was a 9-acre abandoned parking lot with a 60-inch underground drain pipe carrying base flow to Thornton Creek and conveying stormwater run-off from several commercial developments, city streets, and Interstate 5. Three separate issues were addressed by this project: Improving the stormwater quality to benefit downstream habitat; providing public open space and pedestrian connectivity to major transit hub; and, developing the project site in a way that promotes surrounding economic development. By partnering with private developers the City was able to move development forward using a smarter approach to growth and development. The project created a water-quality treatment channel within a three-acre parcel. The solution was to treat urban stormwater runoff on a scale not previously attempted, using basic treatment principles. The team of civil engineers and landscape architects modified the traditional vegetation palette of grasses to assure biodiversity and high-performance pollutant capture while combining the hydraulics of a natural stream with the urban design elements focused on the pedestrian experience.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: pp 1709-1720
  • Monograph Title: Low Impact Development 2010: Redefining Water in the City

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01533073
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784410998
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jun 24 2014 3:01PM