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Nooksack River Watershed

Water Quality Status: Fecal Coliform Bacteria July 2017

Background: Clean water is a valuable resource; it is essential for human health and for the health of fish, shellfish,
wildlife, and livestock. Water provides irrigation for crops, and a safe place for water-based recreation. To protect water
quality, Washington State has developed criteria for bacteria levels in both fresh and marine waters.

Freshwater Standards What are Fecal Coliform Bacteria?
Fecal coliform bacteria are found in human and animal feces. Detection
in a creek is a sign that pathogens from these wastes may be polluting
Geometric Mean
the water. Contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in
Average sample contains less than: gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory
100 fecal coliform/100mL infections and other illnesses.
E. coli are
- and - Where Does the Bacteria Come From? a fecal
90th Percentile Potential sources of bacteria include: coliform
Less than 10% of samples contain over: 1) Animal waste from livestock, domestic pets, bacteria!
and wildlife
200 fecal coliform/100mL
2) Human sewage from failing septic systems, leaking sewer lines
or cross-connections between sewer and stormwater systems
Routine Monitoring: Whatcom Other potential sources are continually being investigated.
County Public Works (WCPW)
coordinates regular monitoring of fecal
coliform levels at a fixed-network of More information is available at:
approximately 17 sites in the Nooksack www.whatcomcounty.us/2170/Water-Quality-
River watershed. Monitoring-Results

Whatcom County Public Works
Nooksack River Water Quality Monitoring Stations

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Nooksack River Watershed
Comparison of Bacteria Levels to Health Standards

Refer to the map on page 1 or the tables on pages 3-4 for site locations.

Tributaries Sample Sites Mainstem

*The bar must be blue on both graphs for the sample site to be meeting the freshwater health standard.

Tributaries Sample Sites Mainstem
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Nooksack River Watershed
13-Month Historical Fecal Coliform Bacteria Data

These tables provide the individual results at each station for the past thirteen months. Results in light orange
exceeded 200 FC/100mL. Results in dark orange exceed 1000 FC/100mL.

Tributaries of Nooksack River

Trib to Kamm

N of Newkirk
West at Pine
Anderson at

Whiskey Ck.
Dbl. Ditch at

Schneider at
East at Pine

Main Street
at Hampton

Bertrand at
River Road
Fishtrap at

Fishtrap at
Creek

Tenmile at
Hannegan

Dbl. Ditch

Dbl. Ditch

Cougar at
Rathbone
Hampton

Woodlyn
Kamm at
Roberts

Harksell
Main St.
Access
Scott at

Scott at

Scott at
Blysma

Barrett
Thiel

Point

Date AND S1 S2 S3 K1 K1a F1 F3 DDW DDE F4 B1 SD COU T1 WH1
7/6/16 160 300 98 100 112 88 106 176 70 260 200 70 240 74 86 NS
7/27/16 62 440 360 350 128 84 510 94 74 150 210 92 380 116 260 NS
8/10/16 230 290 100 96 290 390 104 D 846 D 260 50 ST 50 78 NS
8/24/16 200 ST ST 210 92 360 240 D D D 390 116 ST 80 102 NS
9/13/16 66 360 240 141 80 133 123 D D D 873 42 ST 360 91 NS
9/27/16 340 370 78 490 106 737 220 100 300 66 250 46 98 22 42 NS
10/5/16 72 240 64 310 104 450 160 86 94 40 300 50 68 40 23 NS
10/20/16 2,300 470 210 210 200 94 350 240 210 100 537 66 220 280 210 NS
11/8/16 35 310 56 60 560 58 76 45 NS NS 48 78 38 14 28 NS
11/22/16 17 250 38 61 48 41 22 30 33 12 30 14 17 12 10 NS
12/5/16 23 62 35 80 40 14 370 22 22 25 420 122 48 15 44 NS
12/21/16 110 310 273 350 360 92 273 98 106 78 76 537 160 2,300 27 NS
1/9/17 92 94 48 64 82 5 100 328 86 55 86 132 NS NS 30 560
1/25/17 52 120 170 170 120 21 83 130 25 120 92 23 100 74 5 18
2/13/17 14 52 128 110 260 12 68 370 46 260 74 410 104 74 44 54
2/22/17 22 23 15 10 23 32 87 37 NS NS 200 27 37 22 9 46
3/6/17 41 60 52 52 45 40 54 64 114 44 100 450 22 23 17 37
3/22/17 19 76 45 33 138 10 58 56 78 78 66 28 23 4 7 28
4/4/17 10 40 12 20 30 480 14 19 22 5 12 17 15 7 10 19
4/19/17 12 46 15 27 25 12 40 46 35 490 28 32 5 5 12 9
5/2/17 48 25 30 5 27 40 66 70 40 42 40 28 27 22 19 37
5/16/17 664 460 900 3,100 5,000 300 2,100 2,300 2,400 2,700 2,300 2,500 2,200 220 270 2,100
6/7/17 156 240 38 46 151 60 91 310 250 82 390 50 94 51 80 86
6/20/17 40 104 50 60 42 33 37 310 345 546 50 54 27 33 38 50
7/6/17 50 210 33 50 54 50 40 23 28 52 164 35 82 20 35 116
7/17/17 27 310 160 164 27 165 146 110 138 17 92 56 40 53 78 480

Gray box indicates no sample was collected for various reasons.
NS– no sample, ST– stagnant, D– dry, FL– flood, NR– Not Yet Recorded

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Mainstem Nooksack River
Creek Access Nooksack Nooksack Nooksack Nooksack
Rainfall Point Mainstem at Mainstem at Mainstem at Mainstem at
Data Everson Lynden Ferndale Marine Dr.

Date 24 hr* 72 hr** M5 M4 M2 M1
7/6/16 0.15 0.00 17 15 33 17
7/27/16 0.00 0.00 70 88 62 44
8/10/16 0.00 0.00 35 17 7 2
8/24/16 0.00 0.00 56 42 20 14
9/13/16 0.00 0.00 12 12 14 12
9/27/16 0.00 0.00 42 40 10 17
10/5/16 0.00 0.15 44 17 40 30
10/20/16 0.70 0.90 44 37 45 54
11/8/16 NR 2.12 17 7 25 73
11/22/16 0.66 0.02 4 14 22 23
12/5/16 0.41 0.92 41 10 19 33
12/21/16 NR 0.62 23 20 76 69
1/9/17 0.28 NR 2 10 17 54
1/25/17 0.00 0.01 5 36 16 23
2/13/17 NR 0.00 5 7 17 20
2/22/17 0.01 0.10 2 5 15 5
3/6/17 0.15 1.56 14 14 33 38
3/22/17 0.04 0.12 4 2 7 12
4/4/17 0.13 0.49 2 4 9 2
4/19/17 0.09 0.10 38 2 7 20
5/2/17 0.03 0.19 2 5 5 5
5/16/17 0.34 1.08 54 62 260 220
6/7/17 0.00 NR 108 30 33 19
6/20/17 0.00 NR 40 14 33 15
7/6/17 0.00 0.00 35 44 2 2
7/17/17 0.05 0.03 10 12 2 2

Gray box indicates no sample was collected for various reasons.: NS– no sample, ST– stagnant, D– dry, FL– flood

*Day of sampling event
**Three days prior to, but not including, day of sampling event
Rainfall data taken from the Bertrand Creek stream flow monitoring station. Measured in inches. NR– Not Recorded

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