Drinking Water

The Drinking Water Program Staff help to prevent water related illness. They also help to assure that people in Whatcom County have access to an adequate quantity of safe water. They do this through the following activities:

  • Conduct Sanitary Surveys for Group A and B Public Water Systems.
  • Conduct well site inspections for all 2-Party and any plat wells during the initial plat / building permit process.
  • Conduct well site inspections for public water systems in cooperation with the Department of Health.
  • Inspect well seals during the drilling process in cooperation with the Department of Ecology and well drillers.
  • Inspect wells for home loans.
  • Investigate suspected water related illnesses.
  • Maintain records for over 3000 wells drilled in Whatcom County since 1990; the records include information on both water quality and quantity and helps staff to identify areas of concern.
  • Plan for surface water problems (i.e. Lake Samish Blue-Green Algae).
  • Provide community education and answering questions about safe drinking water.
  • Research and recognize Public Drinking Water System Wellhead Protection Areas for land use decisions via Water Geographic Information System (GIS).
  • Research complaints from public and private water systems.
  • Respond to emergencies (i.e. fuel spills).
  • Review and approve water availability for contaminated wells and surface water and rainwater sources.
  • Review and approve water availability for single family, 2-party, plat and public water for new building permits.
  • Review conditional use permits and binding site plans.
  • Review plans and provide oversight / compliance for small (Group B) public water supplies.
  • Review variance and appeal requests.
  • Tag wells in coordination with the Department of Ecology.
  • Update Drinking Water GIS maps and databases.
  • Update the Coordinated Water System Plan.


View the following for more information about the Drinking Water Program: