The Lake Whatcom Lowdown

October 2022
Quarterly Newsletter with Lake Whatcom Watershed Updates

Photo by Kirsten Lunderville
Watershed Work Window is Closed
The work window for ground disturbing activities closed September 30 in the Lake Whatcom watershed. Ground disturbing activities include clearing vegetation, adding topsoil or fill, and other activities that move or expose soil. Special regulations apply to prevent erosion during the rainy season from October 1 to May 31. Dirty water flowing into Lake Whatcom adds phosphorus, harming water quality and aquatic life. Learn more: Thank you for taking care to prevent erosion during the rainy season.
Marigold Drive Stormwater Improvements Project

In August 2022, Whatcom County Public Works Stormwater Division completed a stormwater improvement project along Marigold Drive in Sudden Valley. This project consisted of installing  750 feet of new pipe, 15 catch basins and a stormwater treatment vault. The new treatment system is designed to reduce stormwater pollutants like heavy metals, suspended solids, and phosphorus that previously entered Lake Louise with little to no treatment. 

The "We Scoop" Photo Contest Results Are In!
1st Place - Whatcom County
Jessica's Riften
1st Place - City of Bellingham
Matt's Rhododendron
2nd Place - Whatcom County
Kymi's Cricket
2nd Place - City of Bellingham
Linnea's Monty
3rd Place - Whatcom County
Willadee's Lil'Roo
3rd Place - City of Bellingham
Cathy's Bonzai

Congratulations to our 2022 “We Scoop” Photo Contest Judge's Choice Scooping Stars! And thank you to all our participants for being part of the solution to pet poop pollution in Whatcom County - Scoop it, Bag it, and Trash it!

For more info about our scooping programs visit:

Only Rain Down the Drain
In partnership with the Parkstone Homeowners Association and the Whatcom Conservation District, Whatcom County staff installed storm drain markers around the Parkstone neighborhood in September. These markers are a reminder to “Protect Our Water” and “Only Rain Down the Drain.” 

Prevention is the most cost-effective method for keeping pollution out of Lake Whatcom. Stormwater makes its way to the lake through a network of creeks, ditches, storm drains and pipes. While there are treatment facilities in some areas, the majority of stormwater runoff enters the lake without treatment. Lake Whatcom is the drinking water source for over 100,000 Whatcom County residents. Here are some things you can do to keep pollutants from entering the lake: 
  • Pick up pet waste and put it in the trash
  • Wash your car at a commercial car wash
  • Collect and haul or properly compost yard debris 
  • Plant native plants and cover bare soil with mulch
  • Properly dispose of hazardous waste
Learn more on our website at www.lakewhatcom.whatcomcounty.org/get-involved 
Septic Maintenance Rebate Program
Is it time for your septic system evaluation? Malfunctioning septic systems can leak raw sewage into your yard and nearby waters. Make sure your septic system gets evaluated on time. It is an essential piece of routine septic maintenance. Gravity systems require an evaluation every three years; all other types are yearly. Rebates are available to help with the cost!
Learn more at www.whatcomcounty.us/septic
New Properties Preserved to Protect Lake Whatcom
This summer the City of Bellingham acquired two new properties in the Lake Whatcom watershed as part of the Lake Whatcom Land Acquisition and Preservation program. The two properties, known as the Drake property and the Templin property, total 3.2 acres and ensure that five previously developable units in the watershed are protected in perpetuity.

The preservation of forested properties around Lake Whatcom helps protect drinking water for over 100,000 people by increasing the amount of native vegetation that filters rainwater and harmful containments like phosphorus and fecal coliform. The acquisition of these properties brings the total acres acquired in 2022 to 135 acres and the total lands protected by the acquisition program to more than 2,500 acres. 
Look out for the next edition of The Lake Whatcom Lowdown coming in January! Please share this newsletter with your neighbors.
Whatcom County Public Works produces the Lake Whatcom Lowdown with funding from Whatcom County's Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility. Funding from the utility enhances Whatcom County's outreach for Lake Whatcom watershed residents. Visit our website to learn more.
Copyright © 2022 Whatcom County, All rights reserved.

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