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What is stormwater?

Stormwater is rain and snow melt that runs off of impervious surfaces such as rooftops, paved streets, highways, and parking lots. As it runs off, it picks up pollution like oil, fertilizers, pesticides, soil, trash, and pet waste. In Mountlake Terrace, stormwater is not treated when it goes into a storm drain. It flows downstream directly into streams and lakes. Stormwater runoff is the leading threat to Washington’s urban waters, streambeds, banks, and habitats.  To learn more about stormwater watch the video below!  

To learn how you can improve stormwater in Mountlake Terrace visit our webpage "How You Can Get Involved".

Button report a spill

A spill is an active discharge where there is an imminent threat to human health or the environment. Spills may include such events as paint, oil, pesticide, antifreeze, and sewage spills near a catch basin. 

Where does the stormwater go?

In Mountlake Terrace all stormwater is either soaked into the ground, managed on a property, or flows through one of our four watersheds. 

A watershed is an area of land that collects water and drains or “sheds” to a common waterbody. Smaller watersheds flow into larger watersheds or larger waterbodies such as the Puget Sound. In Mountlake Terrace, there are several small watersheds that outlet into Lake Ballinger and Lake Washington.  

To find out more about each of the watersheds in Mountlake Terrace visit our Creeks and Lakes in Mountlake Terrace webpage.

MLT Watershed Map with Lake Ballinger

Want to report a spill?

Spills that enter the stormwater system negatively impact fish, wildlife, pets, and people.  Water is the only thing that should enter our stormwater system.  If you notice other substances such as oils, pesticides, paint, antifreeze, and sewage near a catch basin please call the number below to alert the City of Mountlake Terrace.  Learn more about spills on our Stormwater Division Services page. 

Spill Control Hotline - To report a pollutant spill to the stormwater system call the Public Works Department at 425-670-8264 between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. weekdays. Call 911 after hours, on weekends or during holidays.

Motor Oil Spill

Mountlake Terrace was one of the first cities in the Puget Sound region to incorporate stormwater activities as part of a combined Utility Fund in the mid 1960s. The Stormwater Division works to protect water quality, enhance habitat, control flooding, and comply with state and federal requirements. Activities include managing the stormwater comprehensive facility maintenance plan, public education and outreach, site inspection to ensure proper maintenance of stormwater facilities, identification and control of pollutant discharges to the stormwater system, and spill cleanup response.

Hall Creek