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Household Stormwater Pollution Prevention

What is household stormwater pollution?

Household stormwater pollution happens when contaminants from homes and cars go down the storm drains, or more commonly when rainwater washes pollutants on other debris from our yards and driveways to the storm drains and streams, lakes, and wetlands.

Common sources of household pollution are:

  • motor oil and antifreeze from parking areas and driveways,
  • soapy water from car washing,
  • fertilizers and pesticides on lawns, and
  • pet waste.

Did you know… Stormwater gets zero treatment before dumping into streams, lakes, and Puget Sound

  • Stormwater is the leading cause of water pollution
  • (not industrial dumping)
  • 47% of U.S. waters surveyed are unfit for uses like swimming, fishing, or drinking*

* Visit EPA website to learn more.

Healthy habits for clean water


  • use a commercial carwash,
  • keep your car, boat, motorcycle, and other equipment well maintained,
  • clean drips and spills with absorbent pads, kitty litter, or sand and dispose of it in the garbage before the next rainfall, recycle all 
  • fluids, and
  • it is illegal to dump oils and chemicals to the ground or storm water.

Lawn, garden, and pets:

  • when walking your pet, pick up waste and dispose of it in a trash can or toilet,
  • keep yard waste and debris away from storm drains, and ditches,
  • sweep up and keep away from storm drains,
  • water during cool times of the day, and
  • plant native plants and grasses, that require less water, fertilizer,
  • and pesticides.


  • choose non-toxic, biodegradable products when possible, but like any chemical – cannot be discharged to stormwater,
  • pour carpet cleaning wastewater in the sanitary sewer (inside) – not a storm sewer (outside),
  • clean paint brushes in a sink, and
  • dispose of all hazardous products at a designated hazardous
  • collection site.

Nearest household hazardous waste facility 

3434 McDougall Avenue, Everett, WA 98201-5041
Phone: 425.388.6050



An illicit discharge and anything that enters a storm drainage system that is not made up entirely of clean storm water is illegal.

Report violators on campus to:

Safety and Security | Cell: 425.754.0154 | Woodway Hall 214