is one of the biggest potential sources of pollution to our waterways
across the country. Stormwater collects pollutants- bacteria, nutrients,
chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, etc.- and transports this contamination
to water bodies with very little time for settling, filtration, etc.
Because the contaminant sources for stormwater are diverse and numerous,
it is a difficult problem to hone in on and correct. Stormwater systems
historically have been designed to focus on the control of stormwater
volumes. Traditional ponds have been designed to capture stormwater
and hold it temporarily to reduce peak flows. High flows can cause
erosion in ditches and streams and cause flooding in many areas.
Most stormwater systems were not designed to allow for filtration,
settling, biological degradation or biological uptake- all of which
are mechanisms for improving water quality. Newer stormwater designs
are more ecologically beneficial, but retrofitting older systems
can be very costly.
The Department of Ecology has an inspector who deals with stormwater
issues. While much of the inspector’s time is focused on stormwater
issues in the Lake Whatcom watershed, he also responds to problems
elsewhere in the county. Having someone who can focus on stormwater
problems in the county will help to start address this very real
On-site Septic Systems
Municipal Sewer Systems
Education and Community Involvement
Data Management/Water Quality Monitoring