Drinking Water After-Hours Emergency Hotline


Toll-Free: 1-877-481-4901

Around-the-Clock Troubleshooting for Drinking Water Emergencies

Call this number after-hours if a drinking water emergency:

  • Threatens the health of your customers.
  • Threatens the integrity of your system.
  • Can't wait until the next business day.

More important numbers from the Department of Health Office of Drinking Water:

ODW Headquarters: 360-236-3100

Toll-free within Washington: 1-800-521-0323

Northwest Regional Office: 253-395-6750

Southwest Regional Office: 360-236-3030

Eastern Regional Office: 509-329-2100

Office of Drinking Water staff are available around the clock to troubleshoot drinking water emergencies and help protect the health of your customers. Call it Murphy's Law or whatever - emergencies don't just happen during business hours.


  • A midnight landslide damages your distribution system.
  • You are notified on Friday evening before a three-day weekend that your repeat samples were E.coli positive.
  • A nearby stream floods, leaving your wellhead underwater on the day after Thanksgiving.

This service is intended for water system operators, local health officials, laboratory operators and others who need immediate technical, engineering or public health advice from state drinking water experts during emergencies.

While citizen's concerns will be addressed if they call, this is not a public emergency hotline. Individuals with concerns about their drinking water should call their water utility, their local health department, or 911.

This hotline is intended for after-hours emergencies only, not for problems that arise during business hours, and not for routine business. Here's how the system works:

  • After-hours calls will be evaluated to determine the nature of the emergency.
  • Callers clearly seeking routine business assistance will be asked to contact their regional office during business hours.
  • The Office of Drinking Water staff person on call will return the call within 30 minutes.
  • Callers using the emergency number during normal business hours will receive a recorded message directing them to the regional office serving their area.