Our Water Quality Sampling:
The map above shows sites where we collect water samples every month for analysis by Whatcom County’s pollution, identification & correction program.
With separate private funding, we also collect ‘Source ID’ samples (i.e. as-needed) on private land (with the owner’s consent; results remain confidential.) This increases how much we can learn about water pollution sources, and allows us to work directly with landowners on improvements.
We use established protocols & certified laboratories to analyze for fecal coliform bacteria, which is used to indicate the possible presence of fecal matter from warm-blooded animals. Fecal matter in water can contain organisms that cause cholera typhoid, dysentery & hepatitis A.
Sources of fecal coliform bacteria in surface waters can include fecal matter from wildlife, failing or improperly installed septic systems, livestock, and pets. Identifying specific sources is challenging and time-consuming work.