Landowner Practices Can Protect Clean Water
Many Partners Help Landowners Get to Clean Water
Many partners help provide financial and technical assistance to agricultural landowners. Key resources include the Washington Department of Ecology, the Washington Conservation Commission, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the state Department of Agriculture.
Best Management Practices = Pollution Control
When it comes to protecting clean water, water quality Best Management Practices (BMPs) are a landowner’s key resource for pollution-control advice.
What are BMPs? The term is used in many different contexts, but in the context of water pollution, BMP is a legal term that refers only to those combinations of pollution controls used to prevent and control water pollution in order to comply with water quality law. Regulations in Washington specifically define water quality BMPs as those approved by the Department of Ecology (WAC 173-201A-020), and those that are applied to attain compliance with the water quality regulations (WAC 173-201A-510).
Other agricultural resources may provide BMPs for the land. However, the Department of Ecology has the distinct responsibility under the Clean Water Act to help landowners achieve compliance with legal definitions of BMPs. Ecology has the obligation under its Clean Water Act authorities to be clear about practices that protect water quality.
Management Practice Examples
When it’s inevitable that pollution and precipitation will mix, water quality BMPs should be developed and implemented to prevent the pollution from entering water (source control) and remove pollutants (treatment) from water running off the property. However, to successfully address these sources, management practices for water quality should be implemented to stop all pollutants from entering surface waters.
Below are examples of agricultural activities that generate pollution and practices that can be implemented to reduce or eliminate pollution from these activities.
Last updated July 2012
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