The Tenmile Clean Water Project represents an effort by citizen stakeholders to involve the community to reduce fecal coliform levels on a voluntary basis.
The mission of the Tenmile Clean Water Project is to set a path forward to reduce fecal coliform bacteria (bacteria) levels in the Tenmile Creek drainage — which includes Tenmile, Deer and Fourmile Creeks — so that bacteria levels meet the water quality standards and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) standards over the long term.
A healthy Puget Sound is important for our region’s economic, cultural and ecological future. As population pressure in our region continues to grow, the Nooksack basin and Puget Sound is under threat from pollution, habitat loss, and other stresses. Bacteria levels are increasing in almost all lowland streams in the Nooksack basin. Compromised water quality can threaten human health and agricultural viability, as well as threaten the closure of downstream shellfish beds that are relied on for tribal and commercial shellfish harvesting operations in Portage Bay. As part of the Nooksack basin, Tenmile Creek is under a TMDL, authored initially in 1995. Although water quality trends show elevated bacteria levels in the lowland streams, Tenmile Creek is currently the only lowland stream that is meeting the two water quality standards for bacteria.
The next meeting is Wednesday, May 10th, at BelleWood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian Drive, Lynden. 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.
Tenmile watershed is the ONLY lowland watershed in the Nooksack basin that is currently achieving both water quality standards for fecal coliform bacteria.
Volunteers have been tabling at several locations to inspire neighbors to inspect their septic systems. Let us know if you can help or have ideas about where to table. We want Tenmile to be the first watershed in the Nooksack River basin to be 100% compliant with septic inspection rules.
Lummi Nation Water Quality Program Overview
Tenmile Group Issues Septic Challenge (Lynden Tribune)
Tools for Protecting Water Quality (Department of Ecology)
Whatcom County Pollution Identification and Correction Program
Whatcom County Health Department is notifying property owners in the Portage MRA-Nooksack River Watershed to have their on-site sewage system (OSS) evaluated. Read the letter sent to Tenmile Watershed residents in April 2016 to notify them about OSS evaluation requirements.
View the presentation Pesticides and Water Quality in Tenmile Creek, presented by two toxicologists from the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Project participants are keenly interested in this topic because of the crayfish dieoff that occurred in Tenmile Creek in June 2015.
View the most current information about fecal coliform bacteria levels in Whatcom County in this Nooksack River Watershed Water Quality Status: Fecal Colifom Bacteria report.
All efforts that are undertaken by the Tenmile Clean Water Project will be guided by the committee. The committee charter outlines the mechanics of how the committee will operate by defining the mission, leadership, responsibilities, and basic rules under which the Committee will operate. The committee is open to everyone, meets once a month (second Wednesday of each month) at Bellewood Acres, at 6:3o PM.
The committee will work together to develop the path, actions and activities that will engage neighbors and community members in the goal of reducing fecal coliform levels in the creek. RE Sources staff will assist the committee with logistical and research needs, and any other tasks deemed appropriate by the committee and staff. The committee will review all decisions as a whole, speak as a group, be adaptive and flexible, and practice adaptive management when necessary.
A map showing the geometric mean for samples collected during the first year of the project is here.
A graph showing Portage Bay Shellfish Protection District fecal coliform geometric mean of sample collection sites is here. Note station "TI" is the mouth of Tenmile Creek at Barrett Road, Ferndale.
Historical data for Tenmile watershed is located here. Note - this is a large file, may not work on some computers.
2016: June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 Tenmile Minutes August - December
2015: December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015
2014: December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 (draft) May 2014 (draft) April 2014 March 2014 (draft) February 2014 (draft) January 2014
Are you curious about what native fish live in Tenmile Creek? Click here to view Melissa Erkel's presentation.Click here to view a presentation about fecal coliform survivability. The author of this presentation is Stephanie Harris, US EPA Scientist.
Click here to read a report called Fourmile Creek Buffer Planting Project Progress Report, June 2013
Click to see a map of the Tenmile Creek Watershed
Click here to view a map showing stormwater outfalls in the vicinity of Tenmile and Fourmile Creeks
Click here to view a map showing stormwater outfalls in the vicinity of Deer Creek
View a map of sample locations within the Tenmile Creek Watershed.