The High Woodlands rainwater project will study and choose up to three locations for projects that reduce the volume of rainwater runoff and improve water quality in Juanita Creek.
The High Woodlands Project is a Three-Phase Project
- We are currently in the first phase of the project. The focus of this first phase is to identify possible locations and types of rainwater management projects. The first phase will narrow down and identify the top three sites for possible facilities. No actual construction of facilities will take place during this first phase.
- The second phase of this project will include finding and securing funding.
- The third phase will be full design and construction of project facilities. Construction timing will ultimately depend on availability of funding and balancing of city infrastructure priorities. Construction will not take place for several years.
The High Woodlands area is a 430-acre basin at the headwaters of the Juanita Creek Watershed in the northeast corner of Kirkland. The rainwater that falls in High Woodlands has an important impact on the health of Juanita Creek.
We want to be sure that while meeting our rainwater runoff goals, we also meet the needs of the community. Throughout this first study phase of the project, we will engage with the community and seek input on project locations.
From May-June 2023 we conducted a neighborhood survey to learn about drainage issues in High Woodlands, as well as the types of benefits the community would like to see as part of potential projects. The results of the community survey are available in this Final Survey Report(PDF, 989KB) .
We will ask for public input on preliminary designs during in-person and virtual open houses currently planned for early 2024.
Learn about the High Woodlands Rainwater Management Project
Why High Woodlands basin?
The High Woodlands area is the headwaters of the Juanita Creek Watershed. The rainwater that falls in High Woodlands has an important impact on the health of Juanita Creek.
Much of the area surrounding Juanita Creek in the High Woodlands basin was developed in the 1960's and 1970's, before there were requirements to control the flow or manage the quality of rainwater runoff. We now know that these areas contribute pollutants to our creeks and contribute to flooding in our neighborhoods.
One strategy the City of Kirkland is using to solve this problem is to build rainwater management facilities, which reduce polluted runoff and flooding and improve water quality in areas that do not currently have rainwater management facilities.
What is rainwater runoff?
Rainwater runoff is rainwater or melting snow that doesn’t evaporate or soak into the ground. Rainwater runoff carries pollutants like pesticides, fertilizers, soaps, and vehicle fluids to the nearest creek or lake, and can cause flooding and erosion downstream.
Rainwater in Kirkland is a story map discussing rainwater runoff, its impacts on water quality and our community, and how City of Kirkland and others are working to prevent and solve runoff-related problems.
What does a rainwater management facility look like?
In this first phase of the project, City of Kirkland is investigating what types of rainwater management facilities to build and where within the Cedar Creek basin they should be installed.
The project is considering a wide range of options including rain gardens and underground vaults as types of facilities that may be installed.
Rain gardens slow the flow of rainwater runoff and let it filter into the ground naturally.
Underground vaults and wells slow the flow of rainwater runoff and allow pollutants to settle to the bottom to be cleaned out later.
This project is funded in part by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology