Reducing stormwater pollution, the growing threat to water quality in King County
Polluted stormwater – runoff that occurs during rainfall – is perhaps the biggest threat to water quality today in King County.
It carries toxins – motor oil, metals, pesticides, fertilizer, pet waste, and more – directly into streams, rivers, and Puget Sound. It’s contributing to the dramatic decline in native salmon and is threatening the survival of southern resident orcas.
And the threat to water quality is accelerating.
We are experiencing more severe rainstorms as the result of climate change, and more of that rain is falling on impervious surfaces – roads, parking lots, and rooftops – which is pushing more toxins into waterways.
At the direction of Executive Constantine, King County scientists are working with partners to determine the most effective way to reduce stormwater pollution.
It’s a key part of Clean Water Healthy Habitat, an initiative he launched to ensure that we make the right investment to achieve the best results.
Why polluted stormwater is a growing threat to water quality
How you can help
There are personal actions you can take to help keep polluted stormwater out of our waterways.