Water Quality Improvement Project
Water quality issues
Three tributaries to the Wenatchee River (Mission, Brender, and Chumstick
creeks) are included on Washington State’s list of water-quality-impaired waters
because of high fecal coliform bacteria counts. Fecal coliform bacteria
data show that all three creeks had higher fecal coliform bacteria
concentrations and loads during the low-flow period (dry season) when there was
less dilution. This indicates principally non-runoff sources of pollution. The sources of fecal coliform bacteria in each creek may be from both human and
Why this matters
Fecal coliform, also called “bacteria”, is from human and animal waste. It
can make people sick and cause the closure of shellfish harvesting beds.
Bacteria can get into our waters from untreated or partially treated discharges
from wastewater treatment plants, from improperly functioning septic systems,
from wildlife, and from unknown sources.
People can help keep bacteria out of the water. Bag and trash dog poop. Check
your on-site sewage system to make sure it is maintained and working properly.
Where fecal coliform bacteria are found to be from human sources, septic
systems should be evaluated for proper functioning condition and inspections for
illicit discharges should be made. Where fecal coliform bacteria are found
to be from non-human sources, best management practices (BMPs) should be applied
to prevent non-human sources from contaminating the creek.
Status of the project
EPA approved the Wenatchee River Watershed (WRIA 45) Fecal Coliform
Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load Water Quality Improvement Report (WQIR) in April 2007.
Implementation of BMPs and follow-up monitoring
programs are necessary to monitor the progress of water quality improvements in
Mission, Brender, and Chumstick creeks over time. It is expected that most BMPs
will be implemented and shown to be effective by 2013. Fecal coliform bacteria
levels are expected to be reduced by 50% by 2013, with a goal of meeting the
water quality standard for fecal coliform bacteria by 2018.
Wenatchee River Watershed (WRIA 45) Fecal Coliform Bacteria Total Maximum
Daily Load Water Quality Improvement Report (Ecology publication)
Wenatchee River Basin Fecal Coliform Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load Study
Focus on Fecal Coliform Bacteria in Wenatchee River Watershed (Ecology
Wenatchee Watershed Management Plan, 2006. WRIA 45 Planning Unit (Chelan
WRIA 45: Wenatchee Watershed Information (Water web site)
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