Picture taken by Kim Clark, 2009

Hazardous Waste & Toxics Reduction

Success Stories

In this before photo, an old tank used to store
used oil has the potential to leak or spill.

What happens when a pollution prevention specialist from the Local Source Control Partnership finds a problem? The specialist works with the business owner to resolve the problem, protecting the environment and preventing fines and other penalties.

Here’s an example of a pollution prevention success from Bothell: Bothell Way Garage is a family run business owned by Jared Reidt. A resident of Bothell for more than 20 years, Reidt takes pride in his business and his community.

So when a visit from a City of Bothell pollution prevention specialist pointed out a potential problem at his shop that could cause leaks into the Sammamish River, Reidt took action.

The Local Source Control Partnership is a group of 21 cities, counties, and other agencies across Washington State that offers businesses free technical assistance in managing their wastes and hazardous materials.

At the Bothell Way Garage, Tony Benson, a Bothell pollution prevention specialist, pointed out an old, 500-gallon storage tank for used motor oil. The tank didn’t meet current codes because it was only a single-wall enclosure and had no backup containment system to catch spills. Without that secondary containment, a spill from a leaky valve could run off into a storm drain and then into the river. If that happened, it would mean a huge mess – and a huge fine.

Safely enclosed in a concrete containment system, this used oil storage tank is unlikely to drip or leak into the nearby Sammamish River.

Reidt understood the problem and came up with a clever and cost-saving solution. A double-walled tank would cost nearly $3,000, while putting the old tank atop a special pallet designed to catch spills would cost $1,500. Instead, Reidt and his sons built their own containment system using concrete block that cost just $400. The containment system provides a roof over the tank to prevent rain from rinsing oil drips onto the pavement, and the structure is sealed to the asphalt in case of a major leak.

The project was the right thing to do, Reidt said, and it was a chance for him to show his sons the responsibility that comes with being a business owner.

Bothell Way Garage is a perfect example of how government and business can cooperate to protect the environment.