Spill Prevention and Response

Spill clean-up

Report pollution and flooding

Report spills by calling Kirkland’s 24-hour pollution and flooding hotline at 425-587-3900. Kirkland Public Works responders are on standby 24/7 to respond to spills. 

If a spill looks flammable, call 911 immediately. 

What is a pollutant?

A pollutant is a substance that contaminates the environment, mostly through human activities. Any material that enters the stormwater drainage system other than rainwater can be considered a pollutant.

What is a spill?

A spill is a release of a pollutant where there is imminent threat to human health, the environment, or the stormwater drainage system. Spills may include, but are not limited to, vehicle accident that has resulted in a loss of automotive fluids, a foreign substance on the street, or a significant sheen on a body of water.

Allowing pollutants to enter the street and storm drain is against the law (KMC 15.52.90) and could be subject to clean-up cost recovery charges and fines.

Prepare for spillsSpill Kit

Every business that uses chemicals should have a spill response plan and cleanup supplies. A simple spill kit is usually enough to clean up smaller spills and can contain larger spills, preventing them from becoming larger and more expensive to clean up.

  • FREE assistance with spill response plan development and spill kits are available from Kirkland Public Works. Call 425-487-3800 or click the button below to request a spill response plan and kit for your business. 
    Request a Free Spill Kit or Site Visit
  • View the “How to use your spill kit” video from Seattle Public Utilities:

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What if I cause a spill?

  1. Report it. Call Kirkland’s pollution and flooding hotline at 425-587-3900.
  2. Provide details. When reporting a spill provide the following information:

    WHO? Provide contact information – name and phone number.

    WHAT is the spill? Amount and type of material that spilled, if known. If not, describe color, smell, and any other characteristics.

    WHEN did it happen, or did you first see the problem? Note date and time.

    WHERE is the spill? Report known address or cross streets.

    Provide an initial assessment of the situation. Have any drains been impacted? Other observations? 

  3. Stop, contain, and clean up the spill. Use your spill response plan and spill kit to contain spill.

Is the spill larger than can be managed with a spill kit? Consider hiring a contractor that specializes in spill response and clean-up.

Here is a list of spill response contractors(PDF, 107KB) with a current City of Kirkland business license that permits them to perform services within Kirkland's city limits. City of Kirkland has no affiliation with the contractors and does not guarantee quality of service or otherwise endorse any of the contractors.

What happens after a report?

  1. City of Kirkland maintenance staff responds
    • Eliminate active spill
    • Maintain public infrastructure
    • Spill clean-up and documentation 

  2. Water quality program staff responds
    • Education and technical assistance
    • Inspection and investigation
    • Regulatory documentation

  3. Enforcement

Enforcement program

Requirements regarding spill prevention and control are provided under Kirkland’s Surface Water Management Code (15.52) and enforced under provisions listed in 1.12.200 of the Kirkland Municipal Code.


Purpose of spill coordination & response program

The goal of Kirkland’s Spill Coordination and Response Program is to divert, mitigate, or clean up immediate or imminent threats to the stormwater drainage system and the environment.

The program is part of the City’s overall Stormwater Management Program Plan. This Plan documents Kirkland’s planned actions to meet the requirements of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit.