Source Control Program

In 2023 the City of Anacortes launched a new program to prevent stormwater pollution from businesses and public properties with pollutant generating activities. This program is called "Source Control" and is required under the City's Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit. By taking action to prevent pollution, this program will help keep our streams, lakes, and Salish Sea healthy for residents, businesses, and wildlife.

This is accomplished through technical assistance visits that are designed to reduce or eliminate hazardous waste and pollutants at the source. A local stormwater inspector will meet with your organization to evaluate current activities and practices. They will discuss concerns, observations, solutions, and work directly with the business owner to help solve common challenges around hazardous materials, stormwater, solid waste, and spill prevention. This collaborative process limits liability, reduces risk, and improves work environments.

If you would like to learn more about this program, contact Stormwater Inspector Aaron Esterholt at or call 360.299.1508.

To learn more about other pollution prevention programs in Washington, visit Department of Ecology's Pollution Prevention Assistance program.


What is Source Control?

Source Control is stopping pollution before it enters the storm system. Rain water picks up what it touches, like oil or excess fertilizer, and washes it into the Salish Sea. Source control aims to reduce contamination from everyday business activities that could create spills or wash pollution into our storm system.

Polluted runoff from an individual site may appear minor to the owner or to the public, but the combined pollution from all commercial, industrial, and other activities that is collected and discharged to the waterways has negative impacts on salmon, orcas, and all species that depend on water quality in the Salish Sea. It is much easier and cost effective to stop the pollution before it enters the storm system than to try to remove it from the stormwater.

Why is the City starting a Source Control Program and how does it work?

The City is required to implement a Source Control Program as a requirement of the City's Municipal Phase II Stormwater Permit issued by the Washington State Department of Ecology.

A City inspector may come to your business to conduct a Source Control inspection. The inspector will be looking at the outdoor areas for possible sources of pollution.

The Source Control Program is focused on first providing education and technical assistance to businesses. Many source control issues can be resolved with implementing best management practices (BMPs) that are typically behavior based (such as making sure that dumpster lids remain closed) or taking simple steps like providing secondary containment for any chemicals stored outdoors. Larger retrofits will only be required if operational changes do not prevent illicit discharges to the storm drainage system. 

Where can I find additional information on pollution prevention for my business?

A great resource for Best Management Practices is the Department of Ecology's 2019 Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington. Volume IV contains useful Source Control BMPs and may be found here.

Commonly used Best Management Practices (BMPs) include:

What if I already have a NPDES Industrial Stormwater Permit with the Department of Ecology?

The proposed code amendment clarifies that implementation of all stormwater Best Management Practices required by a NPDES Industrial Stormwater Permit or State Waste Discharge Permit is considered compliance with the City's Source Control Program.


For additional questions, please contact Aaron Esterholt, Stormwater Inspector, at or 360.299.1508.