What can I do about fecal bacteria pollution?

Find out how your property may be contributing fecal pollution to the water in your neighborhood and make corrections. If you have neighbors who may be contributing fecal bacteria to our community’s waterways, encourage them to fix the problem. 

  • Keep animals and manure out of waterways and away from saturated ground. Whatcom Conservation District (WCD) can help you manage farm animals and manure in ways that will protect water quality. Contact WCD at 360-526-2381. 
  • If you apply manure on your property, follow the 4Rs of manure nutrient stewardship – use the Right fertilizer source at the Right rate, at the Right time and in the Right place. Contact WCD at 360-526-2381 for help or click here to learn more. 
  • Be responsible for proper operation and maintenance of your septic system. If you have questions about your septic system (where it is located, how to maintain it, what legal requirements are), contact Whatcom County Health Department at 360-778-6000 or email [email protected]
  • Pick up after pets. Dog waste can be a source of fecal contamination to water. Scoop dog poop, bag it, and put the bag in the garbage to prevent fecal bacteria from washing into water. 
  • Plant or preserve trees and native vegetation along creeks, ditches, streams and marine shorelines. Native vegetation enhances or maintains a natural system’s ability to filter fecal bacteria before it pollutes the water. 
  • Get involved. Join an advisory committee or attend public meetings held in your area to discuss issues and work on solutions.

Show All Answers

1. How does fecal bacteria pollution get into water?
2. Why do we test for indicator bacteria instead of pathogens to determine if water is healthy?
3. Are wastewater treatment plants polluting the Nooksack River?
4. Is pollution from the Lummi Reservation causing high fecal coliform bacteria levels in Portage Bay?
5. Can wildlife contribute to high fecal bacteria levels in water?
6. Do agencies use DNA testing to identify sources of fecal bacteria?
7. What can I do about fecal bacteria pollution?
8. Who can help me prevent manure-related pollution?
9. Who can help me prevent pollution from my septic system?
10. Has the state’s surface water quality standard for bacteria changed recently?
11. How does Whatcom County decide when to sample water?
12. Can wood waste (decomposing wood or vegetation) contribute to bacteria pollution?
13. Can Klebsiella be harmful to people?
14. Who enforces codes and laws related to protecting water quality?
15. What does “non-regulatory technical assistance” mean?