Water Quality Program

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Fall is quickly approaching an it's time to make plans for the wet season. This is a great time complete construction projects on your farm, evaluate and complete maintenance on your septic system, check your home for places wildlife could make a den, and start preparing to winterize your boat and RV.

These fall tips for pets, farms, septic systems, boats, RVs, and urban wildlife provide ways each of us can help protect Whatcom waterways from poo-llution. Thank you for being a part of our community solutions to clean water! 

Why is it a problem

The wet season is a challenging time for protecting and improving water quality. It requires consistent efforts to address preventable sources of fecal bacteria pollution. As our soils become saturated, fecal bacteria from sources such as farm animals, pets, and wildlife are picked up by rain and carried into our ditches and creeks and downstream to our bays and harbors. Fecal bacteria pollution limits people’s ability to safely work in, play in, and harvest food from local waters.

Contact Us

Email the PIC Program

Ingrid Enschede
Senior Water Quality Planner

Whatcom County Public Works Natural Resources
322 N. Commercial Street, 2nd Floor
Bellingham, WA 98225

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Pollution, Identification and Correction (PIC) Program

Water Quality is a large topic. There are many different things that can influence the quality of our water. Whatcom County’s Pollution, Identification and Correction (PIC) program is focused on one particular pollution concern facing our County – fecal bacteria. 

Why do we Care About Fecal Bacteria?

When there is too much fecal bacteria (originating from human and animal poop) in the water it indicates that there are likely disease-causing germs or parasites present that make people sick. Waterways (like ditches, creeks, and rivers) connect our land and sources of fecal bacteria to the marine waters. Shellfish beds in the marine water are closed to harvesting when bacteria levels are too high.

What is the Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) Program?

Whatcom County works with local, state, tribal, and federal partners in the Whatcom Clean Water Program to reduce fecal bacteria in waterways and reopen shellfish beds. Water quality data is used to identify priority areas for improvement. Community outreach and technical and financial assistance programs are offered to landowners in priority areas to help find and fix preventable sources of fecal bacteria.

report a problem 

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement PC-01J18001 through the Washington State Department of Health. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency or the Washington State Department of Health, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.