Various efforts to monitor water quality in Kenmore streams have occurred throughout the years, including periodic monitoring conducted by King County, project specific monitoring, TMDL monitoring, and two long term monitoring stations in Swamp Creek and Tributary 0056.
The two monitoring stations are equipped with multiple sensors that continuously record data and provide data points real-time. The stations are placed near the mouths of Swamp Creek and Tributary 0056, which are the main receiving water bodies for a majority of the city's northern stormwater and surface water systems. The stations are reporting measurements for temperature, turbidity, pH and specific conductivity.
Water Quality Monitoring Stations Live Data
The real time data is viewable online:
* Note: These stations are solar powered, occasionally during the winter they do not get enough sunlight to output data 24/7. It will show data next time it has adequate power.
Current water quality parameters being reported:
pH is the logarithmic measurement of the amount of the hydrogen ion concentration in a solution. Washington State Department of Ecology has established pH standards for fresh water between 6.5 to 8.5, with a human-caused variation within the this range of no more than 0.2 to 0.5 units, depending on the species of fish present and usage (i.e. spawning, rearing and migration).
Turbidity is the measurement of haziness or cloudiness in a water system. Natural sources of turbidity, such as phytoplankton growth, can cause turbidity, but in urban watersheds like Kenmore, increased turbidity is generally the result of surface and stormwater pollution, such as sediment from construction sites. According to Washington State Department of Ecology, fresh water turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU over the average background turbidity if the average background turbidity is between 5-50 NTU. NTU should be no more than 10%-20% over the average background turbidity, depending on the species present and usage (i.e. spawning, rearing and migration), if the average background turbidity is over 50 NTU.
Temperature is the water temperature expressed in degrees Fahrenheit. Exposure to high temperatures is dangerous to fish and has become an issue in many urban watersheds. Washington State Department of Ecology's standard for fresh water is that the 7-day average of the daily maximum temperatures should not exceed 53.6°- 68°F in spawning and rearing habitat.
Specific Conductivity is the measurement of the water's ability to pass an electric current and is expressed as microsiemens per centimeter (μS/cm). Conductivity in water is influenced by the concentration of dissolved salts and inorganic ions in the water (chlorine Cl-, sodium Na+, carbonate CO3- etc.). Specific conductivity is a relatively consistent parameter and sensitive to change, therefore once the background specific conductivity for a stream is determined, deviations from the background could be an indicator of the presence of pollution. For example, a sewage system discharge would raise the specific conductivity because of an increase in chloride, phosphate and nitrate whereas an oil spill would lower it due to large organic hydrocarbon compounds.
Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Monitoring
The City of Kenmore currently has one TMDL:
Other Monitoring Resources
King County has historical monitoring data available online.
The Washington State Department of Ecology has river and stream monitoring resources online.
Stormwater Action Monitoring (SAM) is a collaborative group of Washington State municipalities (including Kenmore) that have joined resources to meet NPDES Municipal Stormwater Permit monitoring requirements. The group conducts three types of monitoring, including source identification, effectiveness studies and status & trends.