Are wastewater treatment plants polluting the Nooksack River?

No. In the Nooksack River, wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are not a likely source contributing to increased fecal bacteria levels.

WWTPs at Everson, Lynden and Ferndale have Individual National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to discharge to the Nooksack River. Permits require that WWTPs regularly monitor effluent for several parameters, including fecal coliform and specify a monthly geometric mean limit (28 CFU/100mL) for the treated water that empties to the Nooksack River. The WWTPs all comply with their permits. Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) accredits the WWTP labs that analyze samples. An Ecology permit manager monitors required monthly reporting, annually inspects facilities, and verifies sampling results through duplicate samples analyzed elsewhere.

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?