Checking on the health of our watersheds
The Puget Sound watershed used to be covered in forests and wetlands that would naturally filter and direct the flow of water. As the population in the area increased, construction and manmade barriers changed the flow of rainwater.
Stormwater runoff, excess water flowing during storm events, is a major concern for Puget Sound. As the rain falls and water flows through our communities, toxins can be picked up along the way. If water quality is poor in our watersheds, aquatic life and surrounding ecosystems both feel the effects.
ESC has partnered with local schools and continues to test our waters. This can reveal effects of stormwater runoff in our community. The students also explored how to prevent and decrease the toxins from entering Puget Sound.
How do we measure water quality?
We use six test factors:
-Dissolved Oxygen (DO)
Dissolved oxygen is the oxygen that is present and dissolved in water.
Nitrate is a chemical nutrient needed by plant and animal life for growth.
pH is a measurement of the acidic or basic quality of water or other substances.
Phosphate is a chemical nutrient needed for plant and animal growth.
Temperature is a measurement of hot or cold.
Turbidity is the measurement of the clarity of water.
Test results of six locations from 2015-2016: