Stories for WRIA 57*

Middle Spokane

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


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)

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)

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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* The Department of Ecology and other state resource agencies frequently use a system of "Watershed Resource Inventory Areas" or "WRIAs" to refer to the state's major watershed basins.


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Last updated September 2014