Stories for Spokane County

Water Quality stories support the Water Quality Program's activities. Some stories may fall under more than one category, and are listed accordingly.


A Focused Assistance Program in Hangman Creek Watershed
The Hangman Creek Watershed is involved in a long process to develop a water quality improvement plan (also known as a total maximum daily load or TMDL). Hangman Creek and its tributaries generally have too much fecal coliform bacteria and sediment in the water during the high-flow winter and spring months. So a joint proposal was submitted to help landowners and produces employ best management practices (BMPs).
(Clean-up water pollution; Prevent and reduce nonpoint pollution)

A Little Farm Gets Some Big Changes: Owners reap benefits of cooperation
Ecology received an anonymous complaint about runoff from a “hobby” farm sitting on an unnamed tributary in north Spokane County. “Hobby” farms – those that are run more for recreational purposes than as a business – are still required to meet water quality standards on the property by the state of Washington. Staff from Ecology’s Spokane Water Quality office and the Spokane Conservation District (SCD) visited the site and met with property owners.
(Clean-up water pollution)

A Tale of the Swale: Getting turbid water off the streets
Archer Daniels Midland’s (ADM) Spokane grain milling plant property, bordered by railroad tracks and a heavily trafficked street, had significant stormwater runoff issues. The city of Spokane decided independently to cut the storm drain from the system and to install its own swale along a nearby street to catch the turbid stormwater. However, the potential for runoff water to overflow this swale and go down the street to the next available storm drain remained.
(Prevent and reduce point and stormwater pollution)

Eastern Washington Veterans' Cemetery
This story covers a project to build Washington State's first cemetery for veterans of the armed forces. It will be located near the city of Medical Lake in Spokane County. Due to a seasonally-changing water table in the area, there would not be sufficient water for irrigating the cemetery land. Working with one of Ecology's reclaimed water engineers and one of their hydrogeologists, they were able to develop a strategy to use reclaimed water from the West Medical Lake's wastewater reclamation facility for irrigation.
(Prevent and reduce point and stormwater pollution)

Investing Time to Build Partnerships between Universities and Cities
The Department of Ecology, city of Cheney, and Eastern WA University seemed to be "finger-pointing" over wastewater treatment issues at Cheney′s wastewater treatment plan. Ecology staff facilitated discussions between the entities involved, which lead to the entities working as a team to develop solutions to the problem.
(Prevent and reduce point and stormwater pollution)

Keeping Pollutants out of Urban Waters
Recycling might be a great practice, but it can also be a source of pollution. After a Washington State Urban Waters Initiative team member’s inspection of a recycling site revealed several conditions that could result in storm events carrying pollutants off site, the recycler modified their existing best management practices (BMPs) and implemented new BMPs to address concerns.
(Prevent and reduce point and stormwater pollution)

Lake Spokane Shoreline Goes Au Naturel: What happens when you return to the basics?
A couple living along Lake Spokane (also known as Long Lake) recognized that their existing bulkhead was failing. They also understood that bulkheads can cause problems for neighbors by increasing erosion further down the shoreline. So they agreed to install a naturalized shoreline as a demonstration project to other Lake Spokane homeowners.
(Clean-up water pollution)

Liberty Lake: Finding Pollution Problems to Solve
During the startup of the Urban Waters Initiative in Ecology’s Eastern Regional Office, a pilot study was conducted around Liberty Lake to test sampling methods and procedures. The pilot study discovered problems that are now being resolved through cooperation between Ecology, the Spokane county Stormwater Department, and the Liberty Lake Neighborhood Council.
(Prevent and reduce point and stormwater pollution)

Town of Rockford: Thinking Outside of the Box
This story tells how government and private business worked together to find and implement solutions to upgrade a wastewater system using creativity and flexibility to keep costs down while coming up with a successful result. This story is an example of local and state government and private business working together to find a successful and financially reasonable solution to a problem.
(Prevent and reduce point and stormwater pollution)

Turbid Runoff and the Railroad
The Urban Waters Initiative is tasked with locating and eliminating sources of pollution being discharged to the Spokane River. Finding and fixing direct discharges of stormwater to the river are constant and perplexing problems. When the Urban Waters Initiative team found one such site, in the city of Spokane, we had to figure out who was responsible for the turbid runoff.
(Prevent and reduce point and stormwater pollution)

Unnatural Rock Makes for a More Natural Spokane River (video)
This video shows the unique work done to respond to requirements of Avista Corp.’s 401 Certification from the Department of Ecology, that was prepared to support Avista’s dam relicensing along the Spokane River. Aesthetics are one element to be considered in the 401 process along with water quality and other issues. Avista re-carved the river bottom to make the river look fuller and wider, even during low flows.
(Other water quality-related)


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Last updated April 2015