Water Quality photo identifier

Water Quality Program

How do we get to clean water?

Ecology’s goal is to make measurable improvements in water quality by:

  • Addressing point source pollution with pollutant limits and other conditions in discharge permits.
  • Preventing nonpoint source pollution through implementation of best management practices (BMPs) that protect water quality.
  • Educating the public.
  • Partnering with local governments and businesses to keep Washington’s waters clean for everyone to enjoy.

 

Stream path arrow.  Courtesy of Dustin Bilhimer, WA Department of Ecology.

Water Quality Data Collection

Data are collected around the state by various organizations and submitted to Ecology’s Environmental Information Management (EIM) database.

Stream path arrow.  Courtesy of Dustin Bilhimer, WA Department of Ecology.

WQ Assessment

Data are evaluated against the state water quality standards to identify polluted waters.
Data must meet the credible data policy to be used in the assessment. Waters that violate water quality standards are listed as impaired.

Stream path arrow. Courtesy of Dustin Bilhimer, WA Department of Ecology.

Water Quality Improvement Project Development and Planning

Pollution problems are investigated and projects developed to reduce pollution sources throughout a watershed.

Implementation of best management practices (BMPs) and Other Actions

Actions are taken to prevent/protect, control/capture, minimize/reduce pollution discharges from both point and nonpoint sources.

Effectiveness Monitoring

An effectiveness study is conducted after pollutant controls are in place, usually 5 to 10 years later, to determine if the waterbodies meet state water quality standards.

 

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Last updated August 2014