Water Quality Improvement Project
Newaukum Creek basin is located in western Washington State. It drains
about 27 square miles of land area, including portions of King County
and the city of Enumclaw. Newaukum Creek flows 14 miles from its
headwaters in the western slopes of the Cascade foothills, northeast of
Enumclaw, to the stream’s mouth at the confluence with the Green River.
The Green River and its major tributaries, including Newaukum Creek, serve
as important migration corridors and spawning and rearing areas for
several salmon species, including Puget Sound Chinook, bull trout, coho,
chum, pink, sockeye, steelhead/rainbow, and cutthroat trout. These
species all need cold, oxygenated waters, and waters free of
contaminants that are sometimes associated with excess bacteria for
optimum health during various stages of their lives.
Water quality issues
Portions of Newaukum Creek exhibit unhealthy stream bacteria levels that
do not meet Washington State water quality standards.
Status of the project
Washington Department of Ecology held a public meeting to discuss the
draft Newaukum Creek Bacteria Cleanup - total maximum daily load (TMDL)/Water Quality Improvement Plan. The
meeting was held in May 2016.
Ecology, King County, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, and others began a
cooperative effort to develop a bacteria TMDL project for this basin in
the summer of 2014. The effort included evaluation of King County and
Ecology water quality monitoring data collected in Newaukum Creek and
its tributaries. This effort resulted in a draft water quality
improvement report and implementation plan (WQIR-IP).
This WQIR-IP contains the studies and implementation plan for improving
stream bacteria levels in Newaukum Creek. It consists of theTMDL study
and a plan to implement the TMDL. The TMDL study is an analysis of
available stream quality data, identifies pollution problems in the
watershed, and then specifies how much pollution needs to be reduced or
eliminated to achieve clean water. Ecology, local governments, agencies,
and the community developed a plan that describes actions to control
bacteria pollution and promotes monitoring to assess the effectiveness
of the water quality improvement actions.
Why this matters
Fecal coliform is a type of “bacteria” common in human and animal
waste. It indicates that sewage or manure is entering a water body. As
the level of fecal coliform increases, the risk of people getting sick
from playing or working in the water increases. Bacteria can get into
our waters from untreated or partially treated discharges from
wastewater treatment plants, from improperly functioning septic systems,
and from livestock, pets and wildlife.
People can help keep bacteria out of the water. Properly collect, bag, and
trash dog poop. Check your on-site sewage system to make sure it is maintained
and working properly. Ensure livestock and manure are kept away from the water.
Green River and Newaukum Creek - Multiparameter
WRIA 9: Duwamish-Green Watershed Information (Water web site)
Back to top of page
Last updated May
WRIA(s): #09 (Duwamish-Green)
# of TMDLs: ---
TMDL in development
Department of Ecology
3190 160th Ave. SE
Bellevue, WA 98008-5452