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Trouble Call Program

Trouble Call Program

King County Environmental Laboratory

Mission: To respond, investigate, and work cooperatively with agencies on water quality complaints and emergency environmental situations within the greater King County region.

The Trouble Call Program responds to water quality emergencies in King County. The primary role of this program is to support the King County Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD).  We also investigate activities such as illegal spills, dump sites, construction erosion and sediment control problems, unknown discharges from outfalls, algal blooms, and fish kills.

The Trouble Call Program works to resolve incidents by working  cooperatively with other governmental agencies and citizens. The program is physically located at the King County Environmental Laboratory. Because of our lab presence, we can:

  1. Utilize field personnel and their vessel resources
  2. Promptly collect water quality samples
  3. Fast-track the analysis of samples for public health concerns
  4. Coordinate the release of environmental data to agencies

The Washington State Department of Ecology (ECY) provides essential service for spill response, responding on a 24-hour basis to spills and other environmental emergencies. The ECY phone number for the regional office is is 425-649-7000.  After business hours, please contact the Washington State Emergency Management Division at 800-258-5990.


The Trouble Call Program provides service to a variety of customers, primarily the King County Wastewater Treatment Division.  Trouble Call also strongly supports the  Water and Land Resources Division and other programs within the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks.

Our mission is to protect the natural environment of King County by providing the following services:

  • Respond to King County wastewater incidents;
  • Support agencies during an environmental emergency;
  • Disseminate water quality data results to appropriate parties;
  • Respond to fish kills;
  • If appropriate, support Hazmat responders during Chemical spills;
  • Protect public health;
  • Respond to illegal dumping activities;
  • Respond to algal blooms and determine toxicity;
  • Help citizens find the right governmental agency that can assist with their water quality problem.

For questions about this Web page, please contact Diane McElhany, Environmental Programs Section Manager, King County Environmental Lab.