While citizens of the City of Bellingham have some of the cleanest drinking water in the nation, the water quality of Lake Whatcom has begun to deteriorate in recent decades due to a number of water quality challenges.
Drinking Water Quality
Despite lake water quality challenges, the City continues to be committed to supplying residents with some of the safest drinking water in the country.
Lake Water Quality
The City works closely with Western Washington University's Institute for Watershed Studies to monitor water quality trends in Lake Whatcom. Currently the lake is sampled in five locations with 12 tributaries monitored throughout the year. Detailed annual reports can be viewed at the Institute for Watershed Studies website.
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.  The Washington Department of Ecology is currently working with staff from the City and County to come up with a watershed management strategy that will enable Lake Whatcom to safely meet state water quality standards in the future.

Water Quality Monitoring Reports
Lake Whatcom TMDL Report (Ecology)