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Clean Water

Help keep our water clean.  Storm water runoff from streets, sidewalks, and driveways flows directly into storm drains and ditches to streams, wetlands, and lakes.  This runoff washes pollutants into surface waters, harming water quality and fish habitat.

Everyday activities can help preserve the health and well-being of nearby waters like the Cedar River.  Below are some tips to help make sure water pollution does not start in your backyard.


Keep Runoff Clean

  • Sweep walks and driveways instead of hosing them down.  Soil, grit, and debris from paved surfaces often contain contaminants that pollute water.
  • Wash vehicles on grass or gravel areas to prevent wash water from running into storm drains.  Wash water can contain oils and detergents that harm water quality.
  • Maintain vehicles regularly.  Oil leaking from vehicles contains toxic metals.  Rain picks up these materials and carries them to streams, lakes, and wetlands where they pollute water and harm fish.
  • Recycle used motor oil and dispose of household hazardous waste properly.  Call 206.296.4692 or 1.800.RECYCLE for information on nearby recycling or disposal sites.  Never dump oil or other hazardous wastes down a storm drain or pour them on the ground.
  • Use safe, non-toxic solutions to manage plant problems.  For information about effective ways to manage pests without toxic chemicals, call 425.430.7396.
  • Preserve vegetation.  Plants filter pollutants from runoff and prevent erosion.  Plants near waterways provide habitat for fish and wildlife and shield streams from extreme temperatures.
  • Control animal access to streams.  Animal waste degrades water quality, and livestock can trample and erode stream banks.
  • Build a rain garden. A rain garden acts like a native forest by collecting, absorbing, and filtering stormwater runoff from roof tops, driveways, patios, and other areas that don’t allow water to soak in.


More Ways to Keep Water Clean

  • Buy low phosphate detergents.
  • Put trash in garbage cans.


Pollution Hotline

  • To report a spill that would constitute a threat to human health, welfare, or the environment, please contact the Police Department Hotline at 425.430.7500. 
  • Metro Water Quality Hotline: 206.684.1231.
  • Department of Ecology 24-hour Emergency Spill Response: 206.867.7000.

For more information, contact Gary Fink, Surface Water Utility, at 425.430.7392 or by email using the link below.

Email the Project Coordinator