reporting pollution

Reporting pollution is the most important means by which a citizen can help improve water quality.  The call (or email) triggers a process that starts with an inspector investigating the reported problem.  In Washington State, pollution and potential pollution violate our laws (RCW 90.48)


Common pollutants in our area are often related to: storm water drainage, agriculture and shoreline destruction, and spills or illicit discharges.

  • To keep storm water drainage systems running well and our rivers, lakes, and aquifer clean, it’s important to have only rain in the drain!

  • Agriculture and cattle grazing too close to the water can erode river banks and destroy buffer zones causing sediment and run-off to pollute the waterways.

  • Pollution being discharged directly into the rivers and streams can harm water quality and ecosystems.

If you see pollution in our surface waters:

  • Take a picture,

  • know the location,

  • and try to locate the source.


For questions regarding pollution reporting, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Washington Department of Ecology: (509)329-3400

Contact this entity for:

Destruction of riparian zones (landslides, removal of streamside vegetation)

Livestock issues (livestock density, direct access to streams or lakes, manure management issues)

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City of Spokane: (509)625-7999

Spokane County: (509)477-7525

Contact this entity for:

Water coming from pipe outlets that looks oily, frothy, or discolored

Excessive dirt and turbidity of water

Track-out from construction sights onto roadways

Activities that allow waste water to flow directly into a storm drain or body of water (pressure washing waste water, car washing waste water, carpet cleaning, cleaning of painting materials)

Grass and yard clippings and waste that plug storm water drains

Pet waste

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Washington Department of Ecology 24hr Spills Hotline: (800)258-5990

Contact this entity for:

Oil and sewage spills

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Spokane Regional Health District: (509)324-1500

Contact this entity for:

sewage and septic related problems

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*Image courtesy of Washington State Dept. of Health