About Us

We are concerned residents of the Sunrise Heights and Westwood neighborhoods in West Seattle. We’re a coalition of neighbors from all walks of life, community volunteers, business professionals, parents and environmentalists. We researched the issues, educated ourselves and started this website to alert our neighbors and the general public about the safety, accessibility and other negative aspects of the Barton Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) project.

Even if you don’t live in West Seattle, you should also be concerned. Why? Check out the Issues page, and keep an eye out because King County may still be planning to install similar projects across the city.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is requiring King County to reduce its CSOs by 2025. King County reports that CSOs occur approximately four times per year at the Barton Pump Station due to heavy rains, which result in untreated sewage and stormwater flowing into Puget Sound. To address this problem, King County proposed and then constructed “bioretention swales” in the Sunrise Heights and Westwood Neighborhood between 2013 – 2015.

Biorentention swales are not rain gardens. Please read the Issues page to see the difference.

We are strong advocates for protecting the environment and we support actual raingardens. We understand and agree that sewer overflows must be stopped, however we insisted that King County resolve the problem by other means than bioswales in established residential neighborhoods. Many other option for addressing sewer overflows exist besides CSOs.

We pushed back through this website, a petition, letters to King County representatives, meetings with King County reps, outreach to media and other means. Our goal was to express that the Barton CSO project was unsafe, unfair and untested. We believe our efforts were instrumental to scaling back the scope and harmful impacts this project may have caused, and we remain vigilant.

You can reach us at westseattleraingardens@gmail.com.

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