While our drinking water remains very clean and safe, the water quality in Lake Whatcom has been declining in recent decades due to ongoing changes and activities in the Lake Whatcom watershed. Learn more from the links below. 
Drinking Water Quality
To meet federal drinking water regulations and to provide the public with important information about their drinking water quality, all public water utilities are required to provide annual drinking water reports to their customers. Lake Whatcom provides drinking water for the City of Bellingham and Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District customers. 

Lake Water Quality
Lake Whatcom has been the subject of monitoring efforts since the early 1960s. Western Washington University's (WWU) Institute for Watershed Studies (IWS) conducts long-term water quality monitoring in cooperation with Lake Whatcom Management Program partners. The current monitoring program began in 1988. 

To access lake water quality data and learn more about the monitoring program, visit the Institute for Watershed Studies (click the Lake Whatcom link in the left-side menu).

The Lake Whatcom Management Program also conducts tributary monitoring on the water quality of streams flowing into the lake. 
Improving Lake Water Quality
In 1998, Lake Whatcom was placed on Washington's 303(d) list for polluted water bodies because it failed to meet state water quality standards for dissolved oxygen. As a result, the State Department of Ecology completed the Lake Whatcom Watershed Total Phosphorus and Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) water quality study.  This TMDL study and the water quality improvement report that followed it, document the methods and outcomes used to inform the current regulatory requirements to clean up Lake Whatcom. To learn more about this process, visit the following Ecology website pages:
WWU Institute for Watershed Studies