can you help?
The Swamp Creek Water Quality Improvement Plan discusses what needs to be
done to resolve the problem. If cleaning up local waters is important to you,
think about what you can do on your own first. Do you always pick up after your
pet? Can you use organic fertilizer? Do you wash your car on your lawn or take
it to a car wash? Can you reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from your
property? Can you develop a farm plan to ensure your horse’s manure is not
reaching local streams? Do you practice good on-site septic system maintenance?
The Improvement Plan includes information about current and future activities to
clean up local waters.
There are many things residents can do now to reduce pollution reaching water
bodies and to improve water quality. Here are some ways that you can help:
- Be responsible for proper septic tank maintenance or repair. If you have
questions about your on-site septic system (exactly where it is located, how
to maintain it), you can call the Snohomish Health District for technical
- If you own a small farm in Swamp Creek, contact the Snohomish
Conservation District to have a FREE farm plan prepared! Farmers and others
that raise livestock (horses, cows, cattle, llamas, etc.) can contact the
Snohomish Conservation District to have the plan prepared. There are also
opportunities for cost sharing if you need to build more fencing or maybe a
- Can you reduce stormwater leaving your property? To get a free survey of
your property for ways to reduce potential water quality problems and
improve stormwater management you can contact your local city public works
department or in unincorporated Snohomish County contact Snohomish County
Surface Water Management division.
- Keep pet and other animal wastes out of your local streams. Pick up
after your pet and work with your community association or local government
to get a pet waste collection station installed where it is needed most.
- Use landscaping methods that eliminate or reduce fertilizers and
pesticides. If fertilizers are needed, organic products break down more
slowly and help prevent big flushes of pollution when we have heavy rains;
they also improve soil structure.
- Wash vehicles on lawns (remember that virtually all storm drains in
Snohomish County go to a local stream, not to a sewage treatment plant).
Otherwise, use a commercial car wash facility or “salmon-friendly” charity
- Join local volunteers in planting trees and performing other activities
that help local streams. Because trees and wooded areas next to all streams
help filter out pollutants, improve water oxygen levels (good for the
fish!), and do a host of other good things, Snohomish County, the
Adopt-A-Stream Foundation, Sound Salmon Solutions, and the Snohomish
Conservation District work to improve water quality by helping with stream
- Report major bacteria pollution sources when you see them (failing
septic systems, suspicious discharges, unnatural congregations of wildlife
such as racoon latrines or duck feeding areas). Get involved in your local
- Share your ideas with others. Let local elected officials know your
wishes to improve water quality and fish habitat and your ideas for clean
local streams. Make sure you let them know that clean water is important to
you. Because they deal with so many important issues in trying to provide
for the needs of their local citizens, they need to hear from you so they
know that this is your priority.
The solution to polluting our local waters is to do some things a little
differently. In this way, we can still live a normal 21st-century lifestyle,
have animals as a close part of our lives, and have clean water. Citizen
involvement in deciding what needs to be done is essential to making our
water bodies safe places for people and fish. You may be part of helping to
design future watershed activities that haven’t even been thought of yet!
for more information
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Last updated February
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