Approximately half of Whatcom County residents use the Lake Whatcom Reservoir for drinking water.
Water flows to Lake Whatcom from two main sources.
The City of Bellingham withdraws water from Basin 2 through a 1200-foot wooden pipeline that leads to the screen house at Whatcom Falls Park. The treatment plant in Whatcom Falls Park is capable of producing 24 million gallons of drinking water per day.
Sewers were first installed throughout the developed areas of Bellingham in
1892. These original sewers collected both sewage and rainwater and discharged
them into Whatcom Creek and Bellingham Bay.
Most of these early sewers are still in use. Most sewage pipes are now separate from those carrying stormwater and send their flows directly to the wastewater treatment plant.
The City first provided primary wastewater treatment in 1947, discharging effluent into a shallow part of Bellingham Bay, from a treatment plant located near the mouth of Whatcom Creek.
In 1974, Bellingham replaced the Whatcom Creek treatment plant with the Post Point Wastewater Treatment Plant at the foot of Harris Avenue. The Post Point Wastewater Treatment Plant provided primary treatment for up to a peak flow of 55 million gallons per day for the area's sewered population.
In 1993, Post Point was upgraded to include secondary treatment at a cost of $55 million. This upgrade to secondary treatment increased contamination removal to 95% before releasing it into Bellingham Bay.
The Post Point Wastewater Treatment Improvements outlines upcoming upgrades to the plant.
Although the City of Bellingham supplies water to the majority of residents, there are others that also obtain water from the lake including:
For more information, please contact Environmental Resources in the Public Works Department main office.