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Routes of pollution into the Reservoir
December 11, 2007

Dear Councilmembers;

It should be obvious to everyone that water in a reservoir gets polluted from any or all of about six paths:
  • direct deposition of pollution into the water body by human action - like discharges from boats and docks;
  • indirect deposition of pollution into the water body - via particles carried in the air;
  • direct discharges from pipes - "point sources";
  • direct runoff from shoreline lands and culverts(*) - "non-point sources";
  • direct runoff from creeks - "non-point sources";
  • decomposition of objects in and under the water, and in the bottom sediment;
Local governments have the authority and ability to control almost all of these - recognizing that air pollution from China probably does not fall in that category, but similar airborne deposition from local burning, is controllable.

Action on each of these sources is required.

(*) culverts are technically not "point sources", so their category has been changed.
Groups of lands in the Reservoir Watershed:
December 11, 2007

Dear Councilmembers;

It should be obvious to everyone that water in a reservoir gets polluted from actions on watershed lands, which may be characterized in three major groups, in relation to the risks and resolution of reservoir pollution:
  • forested, undeveloped lands which will remain forested and undeveloped, thus in the best conditions;
  • undeveloped lands which were forested but have been clearcut, and thus are subject to substantially higher erosion from exposed soils and roads; (*)
  • undeveloped lands which will be developed, thus becoming polluters;
  • developed lands which are the major contributors of pollution, thus needing retrofits;
Action on each of these groups is required.

(*) item added after original post.
Protect Lake Whatcom: This website is maintained by a concerned citizen, following from a Citizens' Initiative brought forth in 1999, with the purpose of directing the City to implement Goal #2 of their own 21 Goals for the management and preservation of the Lake. Copyright 1999-2008 ©LakeWhatcom.org. c: [an error occurred while processing this directive] Updated 2007/11/29 Our bottom-line principles are: Protect the water supply in perpetuity -- maintain ecological viability of the lake for natural species -- distribute the financial burden fairly among those benefitting -- take immediate action if prudent -- take definitive action -- avoid actions which cut off future options.
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