Pollution & Water Quality


Pollution & Water Quality

In urbanized areas, the greatest threat to environmental health is pollution. Water pollution takes several common forms: oil, chemicals, debris, soaps, commercial materials, and most pervasively, sediment. Sediment is the #1 pollutant that can adversely affect our natural waterways. It carries many of the other pollutants with it, causing serious water quality issues when left untreated.
In 2009, City of Kenmore passed municipal code that adopts the 2009 Kenmore Stormwater Pollution Prevention Manual and expanded upon the City’s Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) Program. The manual contains Best Management Practices (BMP’s) for numerous pollution-generating activities. The collective effort of each individual is the only way to reduce water pollution in urban areas. If something looks suspicious, the best action to take is to immediately call the Spill Hotline. Knowing what pollution/illicit discharge looks like is the first step: How to Identify Pollution



Water quality is adversely affected by pollution. Washington State’s pristine natural water is a high standard to meet, but it is essential for maintaining the commercial, recreational, and environmental benefits. In Kenmore, there are a dozen creeks and streams that feed directly into Sammamish River and Lake Washington. Keeping these natural waterways pollutant-free is a difficult but crucial task. Water quality can be measured by a variety of abiotic criteria: pH, temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, etc. and biotic criteria: bacteria levels, organism counts etc. Using measurements in conjunction with each other, scientists can evaluate the general health of the water. Kenmore has recently implemented a stream monitoring system to evaluate the health of 2 local streams.


Common Urban Pollution and Degradation to Water Quality:


Car Washing & Vehicle Care: Avoid heavy metals and excess sediment from entering the system




Pet Waste: Reducing harmful bacteria contaminating water





Yard Care: Fertilizer and herbicides can be harmful to native vegetation and fish


Waterfowl: Ducks and geese are a pollution rick in stormwater structures



*Graphic courtesy of King County Stormwater Services

Ordinance 09-0299 (KMC 13.45)


Last updated: Thu, 04/05/2018 - 9:22am