When it rains, stormwater picks up a wide variety of pollutants from hard surfaces. Polluted runoff from parking lots, yards, sidewalks, and streets enters the storm drain system. The system carries that pollution directly into our creeks, lakes, and Puget Sound.
"Source control" is the only way to keep rainwater from coming into contact with these pollutants. This means following best practices to prevent pollution, such as proper chemical storage, waste disposal, and reporting spills.
How can you help
Simple actions can help keep pollutants out of stormwater and keep our local waterways clean and healthy.
Properly dispose of chemicals
Never dispose of oils, pesticides, or other chemicals into storm drains or on driveways or streets. It may soak into the groundwater. Otherwise, the next rainfall will carry it into a nearby lake, stream, or wetland. These chemicals can be hazardous to wildlife, pets, and people and harm the environment.
Drop off chemicals at safe collection sites for no charge. Permanent drop-off locations and temporary locations are available throughout the year. Find household hazardous waste disposal options through King County Hazardous Waste Management.
Report polluters and spills. Examples of pollutants to report include:
- Leaking automobiles
- Concrete dumped on the street or into a storm drain
- Paint poured down a drain
To report a spill, call the Spill Hotline or report a spill online:
- Weekdays: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm - call (425) 295-0500
- After hours: call (425) 295-0700