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Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)

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Under the NPDES permit, the waterbodies within each municipality must meet certain criteria. Swamp Creek was identified as a “Total Maximum Daily Load Special Condition 7”—meaning that high levels of fecal coliform bacteria were present in the waters and now require routine testing. Swamp Creek runs through several municipalities including Kenmore, Bothell, Brier, and Mountlake Terrace. Kenmore is downstream of these other municipalities and greatly benefits from the monitoring information and watershed studies.

All TMDL data and other ecological studies are submitted into a larger database for general use and reference supported by Department of Ecology.

Once a water sample is collected from each of the sites shown on the map (left), a simple bacterial test is run on the samples and the raw data is reported in cfu/100 ml (number of bacterial colonies in each 100 milliliters of water). It is very common for the results to spike in the summer because there is significantly less rain water moving through the system and flushing out the bacteria. When the water remains stagnant and warm the bacteria can flourish. Additionally, people and animals are outdoors more often in the summer and the pet waste is a major pollution problem.

The 2013-2018 permit required Phase II permitees to test a sub-basin of the larger basin study they chose. Kenmore now also samples 4 additional monitoring sites in Much Creek (blue).

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)