While the City of Bellingham produces
some of the cleanest drinking water in the nation, the water quality of Lake
Whatcom has started to decrease in recent decades due to a number of water
Drinking Water Quality
Despite lake water quality challenges, the City is committed to supplying
some of the safest drinking water in the country.
Lake Water Quality
The City works closely with the Western Washington University
Institute for Watershed Studies (IWS) to
monitor water quality trends in Lake Whatcom.
Currently the lake is sampled in five locations with 12 tributaries
monitored throughout the year. IWS provides detailed
Improving Lake Water Quality
In 1998, the Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) placed Lake Whatcom
on Washington's 303(d) list for polluted water bodies because it failed to
meet state water quality standards for dissolved oxygen and phosphorus. DOE, City and
County staff work together to develop a watershed management strategy
that will enable Lake Whatcom to safely meet state water quality standards
in the future.