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Saturday January 28, 2012 Monitoring Report ‑ Mark Phillips

posted Nov 18, 2012, 10:44 PM by Derek Brown   [ updated Jan 9, 2013, 7:53 PM ]

Saturday was a good day, despite the absence of several regulars.

In perusing the numbers, we found that the water temperature ranged from 40 - 42 F (air temp was high 30's), pH was steady (as always) at about 7.5, and dissolved oxygen ranged widely from 10 - 15. There was one exception: the Lyon Cr. location at 185th and Ballinger Way was tested twice at 6, which is noticeably low. At between 3 and 4, fish start to drown. So I went back and tested the site again with results of 11 and 13. DO can vary significantly in a 24 hr. period; or, there could have been an issue with one of the three chemical packets used; or more likely, there's the human factor which we've all experienced - not completely emptying a packet, etc.

Here's a recap of the topics we discussed before heading out...

Libby Veluzzi joined us to learn our testing methods and tell us about the study of Lake Ballinger she is doing with 6th graders at Terrace Park School in Mountlake Terrace. She and I dodged golf balls at the Nile Country Club long enough to do a DO test on the stream just after it exits Lake Ballinger. Our score was 11, not bad. In the past, using a meter at that site, we've seen scores between 9 and 10, confirming consistantly low levels of DO in the lake.

Info on the new draft NPDES Permit (the feds and state's new clean water requirements, which will apply to most municipalities in WA) can be found at:

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/stormwater/municipal/MUNIdocs/WWAPhaseIIDraftPermitOct2011.pdf

The comment period ended on February 4, and the permit will go into effect in 2013. The general consensus among local environmentalists, is that the permit changes are inching in the right direction.

A bill (HB 2241) put before the state legislature to ban the sale of small lead sinkers commonly used for fishing in streams and lakes has been withdrawn due to low support from the environmental community and strong opposition from sportsmen/NRA groups. The problems caused by lead sinkers are mainly seen in deaths of waterfowl, although lead concentrations in stream and lake sediments can't be good for other aquatic creatures. Sinkers made of other material are available, and lead was banned from shotgun shells several years ago. Lead sinkers, however, are not one of the key stream-quality issues.  Two the bills sponsors are  Gerry Pollet and Phyllis Kenney.

Special thanks to Ben and his mother, Lisa, for joining us. Ben is one of several dozen high school students in the Puget Sound area working with the Friends of the Cedar River Watershed to produce and present amazing public education about the status of the watershed ‑ which includes our streams. LFP Streamkeeper Tyson Greer is a FCRW board member and provided this YouTube link to some of the videos the group has produced:

http://www.youtube.com/user/FriendsOfCedar?feature=mhum#p/c/CB858565DF63644C

The January 28, 2012 Basic Quality data can be seen at:Quality Data 2012