Reporting Spills

City staff protecting storm drain from spill

Spills hotline

If you witness spills or any suspicious discharges to Olympia's stormwater system, streets, ditches, streams, or wetlands, please call our Spills hotline. This line is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you can choose to remain anonymous.

Spills could include things like gasoline, sewage, chemicals, paint, oily sheens, foam, algae blooms, or muddy water from construction sites.

Reporting checklist

A good set of notes will be helpful to the follow-up investigator. Use the following checklist when reporting a suspicious event:

  • Location of spill. 
  • Time/date of spill. Does it occur at a certain time? For example, every day at 6:00 am?
  • Could you determine the source?
  • Is it draining into a body of water, or into a catch basin or grate?
  • How does the water look; is there a sheen?
  • Do you observe any dead fish?
  • Are there any odors?
  • Are there any other witnesses?

Take photos

Photographic evidence can be valuable in establishing the presence of pollution, especially where erosion problems exist. When taking photographs, remember to record the time, date, and location that the photo was taken. Wherever possible, try to include an established landmark so that the location of the pollution problem cannot be challenged.

Do not take samples

Because of the potential for personal injury from contact with dangerous chemicals or entry into unsafe environments, sample collection should be left to local authorities.

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