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Focus on Groundwater Quality in Whatcom County

Publication number Date Published
12-03-005June 2012
VIEW NOW Focus on Groundwater Quality in Whatcom County (Number of pages: 4) (Publication Size: 731KB)

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Author(s) Carey, B.
Description This focus sheet outlines the information from a longer report that summarizes groundwater nitrate data collected over 30 years from the Sumas-Blaine Aquifer, a transboundary aquifer in northwestern Washington. Data compiled from studies by the USGS and the Department of Ecology indicate that 29% of 515 wells sampled have exceeded the 10 mg/L-nitrogen maximum contaminant level for nitrate, and 14% of the total have exceeded 20 mg/L-nitrogen.

The focus sheet also lists the physical and land-use characteristics that make the aquifer especially vulnerable to nitrate contamination, including shallow depth-to-water and intensive agricultural production.

Recommendations are listed for actions to reduce nitrate contamination in the aquifer. Also information is provided for private well owners on testing their water for nitrate.
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WATERSHED Water Resource Inventory Area 01 Nooksack

Sumas-Blaine Aquifer Nitrate Contamination Summary