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Spills and Drainage
How to report a spill or illicit discharges
Call the Spill Hotline at 425-806-6750 to report a spill or illicit discharge. This phone number is answered day and night. Learn what qualifies as a spill.
Why reporting spills matters
Spills to our roads and storm drains are carried through our stormwater drainage system to local streams where they cause problems for people, pets, and the environment. We need to know about spills so we can try to contain them before they reach our local streams and other bodies of water.
Examples of what to report
Pollutants from these activities end up washing down Bothell's storm drains and emptying into the nearest body of water. Please call the Spill Hotline at 425-806-6750 if you see any of these:
- Vehicle fluids leaking onto the street
- Soapy water entering the street from washing cars, sidewalks, buildings, or awnings
- Paint, motor oil, or other contaminant on the street
- Restaurants dumping food or grease into storm drains
- Mobile businesses dumping wastewater into storm drains (from things like carpet cleaning)
- Blowing debris or yard waste into the street
- Chlorinated swimming pool water drained into the street
- Landscaping dirt piles in the street
- Concrete washout from home improvement or construction projects
- Mud tracked out into the street or muddy water entering the street, typically from a construction site
- Construction sites without effective erosion control measures in place
Is it pollution?
Learn about iron bacteria, a common occurrence that you might think is pollution because of how it looks, but is actually a naturally occurring phenomenon that is not harmful to water.
Thank you for helping protect local streams!
We conduct stormwater drainage inspections as part of our ongoing program and upon request.
Report a drainage issue
Submit an online form to tell us about your drainage concern. When we receive a report about a drainage issue, we inspect the location thoroughly and promptly to help resolve any issues to the best of our ability.
Learn more about stormwater runoff and options to help manage it.
What is stormwater runoff?
Stormwater runoff is generally rainwater and melted snow that is unable to soak back into the ground and runs off surfaces like roads, roofs, driveways, and lawns.
Runoff from my neighbor's property is coming onto mine.
Land alterations can change the way runoff leaves someone's property. Inadequate maintenance of home drainage systems prevents them from working correctly. Similarly, neighborhood ditches, pipes, and storm drains can become clogged with debris and cannot remove stormwater from neighborhoods. Runoff should be discharged to a drainage system when possible. However, downstream property owners are generally obligated to receive runoff from roads, cross culverts, and upstream property owners.
What is the City's responsibility to maintain runoff or drainage?
City staff performs regular maintenance and inspection of our publicly-owned stormwater system. The City also reviews, inspects, and issues permits for development and land alteration plans to ensure that all development and redevelopment meet City and State regulations.
What is my responsibility for addressing runoff or drainage problems?
Your property also needs to be maintained to ensure adequate drainage during heavy rains. Here's what you can do:
Maintain your drainage system
Know your stormwater system and make sure it is clean and functional. Storm drains collect water and move it downstream. Storm drains that are cluttered with leaves, garbage, and other debris block flow and create flooding.
Be a good neighbor
In our rainy climate, stormwater is generally unavoidable. Water that is unable to soak into the ground will find its natural route downstream, often across roadways, paths, and private property. Work with your neighbors to clear brush, debris, and blockages from neighborhood ditches and storm drains. Make sure driveway culverts are clean, functional, and constructed correctly. Concerns with stormwater flow between neighboring properties are a private issue, and between the property owners. Uphill property owners should consider how their landscaping and grading could impact lower properties, and downhill property owners should recognize that water always follows the laws of gravity. A reasonable and cooperative compromise serves both parties and fosters neighborhood harmony.
Can I alter the drainage from my property?
Stormwater runoff is considered a "common enemy" and everyone has the general right to protect their property from upstream flows. But this right is mitigated by a few considerations. First, you cannot block a natural drainage course. Second, the water needs to leave your property in the same manner and amount as it did before the changes to the drainage were done. Finally, and above all else, you must exercise due care to avoid unnecessary damage.
Report a drainage concern
See a drainage issue outside of your property? Report drainage concerns in the public stormwater system online at www.bothellwa.gov/drainageconcern or call 425-488-0118 during business hours.
Click to open a PDF version of stormwater runoff information.
Does your storm system need maintenance or repairs?
If City of Bothell staff notified you that your storm system needs maintenance and/or repairs, here is some information about drainage system maintenance service contractors (sometimes referred to as vactor vendors) with a business license and city endorsement that permits them to perform services within Bothell's city limits. We update this list every August. City of Bothell has no affiliation with the contractors and does not guarantee the quality of service or otherwise endorse any of the contractors.