Squaxin Island Tribe's Natural Resources

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Uncle John Creek Still a Leading Source of Water Pollution in Oakland Bay

March 10th, 2009 by jkonovsky

Fecal Bacteria Concentrations (MF/100 ml) at Stream Mouths

oakland-bay-winter-08-09-results4

The Squaxin Island Tribe released their winter 2008-09 water sampling results to the Oakland Bay Clean Water District Advisory Committee on March 4th.  Five samples were collected at nine stream mouths between October 2008 and February 2009.  Two of the sampling days, 11/12 and 1/7, occurred during major storm events.  All the samples were analyzed for fecal coliform bacteria at the Department of Ecology Manchester Lab.

The sampling results from the storm days were much higher than the non-storm days.  This is a very common pattern in Western Washington because stormwater picks up large quantities of bacteria as it moves across the landscape.

The results indicate that Uncle John Creek is still a leading source of non-point water pollution entering Oakland Bay.  While there have been significant improvements over the last couple years that have taken Chapman Cove (downstream of Uncle John Creek) off the Department of Health’s water quality threatened list, there is still need for additional improvement to meet water quality standards.

Other creeks like Shelton, Malaney and Goldsborough also play a significant role in moving bacteria from the uplands to marine water.  Their contributions to water pollution must also be investigated and reduced in the near future to meet water quality standards.

Tags: Shellfish · Water Quality