Public Education and Outreach
The City has multiple programs and ways you can contribute to keeping our stormwater system clean and free of pollution. Browse them below.
Puyallup Rain Garden Program
Puyallup's Rain Garden Program has educated hundreds about stormwater pollution prevention and green infrastructure techniques. Since the program's inception in 2009, over 10 #_msocom_1 million gallons of stormwater have been disconnected from the stormwater system to be managed on-site.
Single-family residential rain gardens, permeable pavement, and rain barrels are the focus of this education and outreach program. The program allows for cost-sharing of the installation of these facilities.
Purpose of Puyallup's Cost-Share Rain Garden Program
Rain gardens, permeable pavement, and rain barrels manage rain where it falls, rather than letting it flow into the storm drains. While storm drains are designed to collect and convey stormwater, they do not provide treatment or flow control prior to discharging to our streams, lakes, and rivers.
Puyallup's Rain Garden Program provides opportunities for homeowners to install GSI at their homes, reducing their impervious footprint in our watershed and helping to reduce stormwater runoff.
Join the Program
Puyallup's Rain Garden Program includes many green stormwater infrastructure elements that help manage stormwater where it falls including:
Rain Gardens #_msocom_3 are shallow depressions with specific amend soils and plantings that are used as small stormwater facilities to collect, store and filter rainwater and stormwater runoff from your lawn, rooftop, sidewalk, driveway, and other existing impervious surfaces. Participants receive reimbursement for material, up to $1,000.
Read the Western Washington Rain Garden Handbook (PDF) to learn more about rain garden design and upkeep.
Permeable Pavements consist of special mixes of concrete, asphalt, pavers, etc. with larger pore spaces, or separation between aggregate, to allow for rainwater to pass through. Stormwater then moves through the pore spaces and infiltrates into the soil below, reducing surface runoff. Participants receive reimbursement for 50% or the cost, up to $7,500.The cost share only applies when replacing impervious surfaces with permeable pavements.
Rain Barrels #_msocom_4 are barrels or tanks used to store rainwater, typically from roof downspouts, for reuse. Rain barrels disconnect rainwater from downspouts from the stormwater system, decreasing the total water volume during a storm event. Participants receive reimbursement for the rain barrel, up to $125.
Participants in the cost-share program can install a rain garden, permeable pavement, or rain barrel at their Puyallup home. Read more about this program (PDF) or download the application (PDF). For questions or more information, please contact us via email at EcoFriendly@PuyallupWA.gov.
To qualify for the cost share program your home must be within Puyallup City limits. Having a Puyallup address does not necessarily qualify your home for the program. If you’re unsure if you are in Puyallup City limits, try our “Are you a City of Puyallup resident?” feature in the Puyallup GIS Portal.
Visit a Puyallup Rain Garden
Want to take a tour of rain gardens in Puyallup? We have a demonstration area located on 8th Ave NW between 9th St NW and 11th St NW.
Contractors who have not previously worked with the city in the Rain Garden Program are encouraged to learn about GSI and be added to our Pre-Approved Contractors list. To do so, contact the city via email. Contractors are encouraged to attend a GSI workshop and must meet with program staff to discuss additional aspects of the program.
GSI Mini Grant Program Applications Open!
PUYALLUP'S 2024 STORMWATER CALENDAR IS HERE!
Just in time for the holidays! No need to purchase one of those adorable dog-yoga calendars from the store; you can obtain a FREE 2024 stormwater calendar right here at City Hall! Calendars are available at the Utility Billing counter, City Clerk's counter and the Permitting counter.
Check out the superb artwork of talented youth at Camp YouGottaWanna inspired by the teachings of stormwater and protecting our environment. The calendar also includes fun facts about stormwater each month, and ideas for environmentally friendly pledges you can make throughout the year of 2024.
If you would like your child to have the opportunity to participate in the calendar artwork for the year 2025, we encourage you to sign them up at Camp YouGottaWanna, as we plan on hosting another Stormwater presentation during the Summer.
If you would like a copy of the calendar, you can request one through email or pick one up at one of the locations mentioned above.
As in past years, the calendar features fun facts about stormwater and how you can help at home. Residents are eligible for the incentives mentioned in each month of the calendar. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your pledge suggestions!
Green Puyallup Partnership
The City has multiple riparian and critical areas that are maintained with the help of the Pierce Conservation District and Washington Conservation Corps. The maintenance of these areas increases water quality and riparian function. Please visit the Pierce Conservation District website for more information!
The purpose of the Dumpster Program is to protect water quality in Puget Sound and local waterways by reducing sources of pollution. The focus is on increasing adoption of dumpster area best management practices (BMPs) by businesses, to prevent water quality violations. This social marketing plan provides valuable information about the priority audience desired benefits, barriers and motivators and tools that will work to promote positive behaviors for the benefit of the Puget Sound Watershed.
The City of Puyallup is currently working with a select few businesses involved in the program as part of a pilot outreach effort. Our goal is to provide instruction, talking points with staff and educational resources to promote awareness of dumpster best management practices.
Common Dumpster Issues Observed
- Lids not being closed
- Poorly maintained
What Do these Poor Qualities Lead to?
- Increase in pest presence
- Overwhelming odors
- Promoting illegal use
- The creation of "Dumpster Juice"
If you are interested in learning more about our Dumpster Outreach program, please contact Carly Zellers at 253-770-3354 or Email
FISH-FRIENDLY CAR WASHING
Many people enjoy a nice, clean car. While keeping your car clean is admirable, try following some of these fish-friendly car-washing guidelines, to help keep harmful pollutants out of our waterways, and Puget Sound!
Looking for ideas to raise money for your charity that will also protect our natural waterways and fish? Promote Fish-Friendly Car Washing by pre-selling car wash coupons. Here are a couple of links to organizations that you could use:
Puget Sound Car Wash Association
The High Environmental Cost of "Fund-raising" Car Washes
The water that runs off your driveway and into the stormwater drains from car washing is harmful to fish and other aquatic life. When you wash your car, the oil, road grime, and soapy water flow down the roadway gutters, and into the stormwater drains. These drains are designed to carry away stormwater runoff, but not pollution! The water that goes into stormwater drains flows directly into our streams, the Puyallup River, and eventually Puget Sound. Even small amounts of these pollutants can kill our native salmon and their eggs and inhibit their ability to reproduce.
Fund-raiser car washes are a thing of the past now; they may raise a few dollars but at the cost of harming our local waterways and fish that live there. In addition, letting car wash water flow into storm drains and the stormwater system is against City Municipal Code. Only rainwater is allowed to enter the stormwater system - anything else is considered an Illicit Discharge and may be reported to the Department of Ecology - but education and outreach is the primary avenue for preventing these polluting events.
Education is the best way to help others understand how our stormwater systems work and help them find ways to improve their daily tasks while reducing the impact of the storm system.
How can you help?
Ways that you can help prevent car wash runoff from polluting our creeks, streams, and the river:
- Washing your car on your lawn or in a gravel area.
- Using a commercial car wash. They capture the water they use, recirculate it, and eventually send it down the line to the treatment plant.
Here are a few car wash locations in city limits:
Big EZ Car Wash- Self-wash
1510 S Meridian
Blue Car Wash
1504 E Main
4412 S Meridian
105 7th Ave SE
Elephant Car Wash- Self Wash & Automatic
715 39th Ave SW
605 E Main
White Glove Car Wash
601 S Hill Park Dr.
Some of these locations accept car wash coupons- head on over to the stormwater calendar to see how you can get one FREE.