Northeast Sammamish Sewer and Water District is committed to protecting the environment. In 1999 the Chinook salmon and the
bull trout were listed as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. Other species are being considered for listing.
The District receives its water entirely from groundwater sources located beneath the Sammamish Plateau and Evans Creek valley.
Sewer facilities are located throughout the District. It is the Districtís intention to operate, maintain and repair the water and sewer
systems in a manner that does not adversely affect the environment. In doing so, the District protects the high quality of your water supply.
The District maintains a groundwater, surface water, and atmospheric monitoring network in the Bear/Evans system.
When the District constructs facilities near a stream, monitoring devices are placed in the stream to measure water quality.
This ensures that construction run-off is carefully monitored and controlled.
The District also collects rain data, which is used to study interactions between water systems operations and the local
aquatic system. The District monitors temperature along Evans Creek for good stewardship and to detect if their
construction of new facilities impacts temperature. In addition, in partnership with King County, the District provides
real-time air temperature, water temperature, water level and flows data for Evans Creek on our web site: Evans Creek Real-time Data.
|Wellhead Protection Plan
The Districtís water system is served from five wells. The wells pump groundwater into the Districtís distribution system and water tanks.
The water quality is superb. Because the water is naturally superior, there is
no need for the District to disinfect the water with any chemicals or use any purification process. Since disinfection is not necessary, the cost of
our water is less expensive than systems that do have to disinfect their water and we are able to pass on this savings directly on to our customers.
In order to protect this low cost, high quality water source, the District adopted a wellhead protection plan in 1995. A wellhead protection plan
delineates wellhead protection areas for each of the Districtís wells or wellfield. Residents and businesses located within the protection areas
are notified of their proximity to the water supply, activities that could affect the Districtís water supply and how to prevent contamination.
The District is updating the wellhead protection plan in 2009.
|Redmond-Bear Creek Groundwater Protection Committee
In addition to adopting a wellhead protection plan, the District participated for several years in a regional process to develop the Redmond-Bear
Creek Valley Ground Water Management Plan. Participating in this effort were the City of Redmond, the Woodinville Water District, the
Union Hill Water Association, King Conservation District, King County, Seattle-King County Public Health, Water Tenders and private citizens.
The Ground Water Management Plan contains strategies to address the potential threats to ground water quality and quantity in the planning
area. The Redmond-Bear Creek Valley Ground Water Advisory Committee identified the potential water quality and quantity problems or
issues and adopted corresponding management strategies for: Special area designations to enhance ground water quality and quantity;
data collection and management; stormwater management; hazardous materials management; underground storage tank management;
on-site sewage disposal system use; pesticides and fertilizer use; well construction and abandonment; sewer pipes; solid waste landfills;
burial of human remains; sand and gravel mining; biolsolids and sewage effluent; and ground water quantity.
After the Plan was completed, it was certified by the Department of Ecology. King County, as the lead agency,
established a Groundwater Protection Committee for each Groundwater Management
Area with a certified plan. These four areas are: Vashon-Maury Island, Redmond-Bear Creek, Issaquah Creek Valley and
East King County.
As the lead agency for the County's Groundwater Protection Program, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks
works in conjunction with the Groundwater Protection Committees to implement the recommendations of the local Groundwater
Management Plan and address current local groundwater issues. Additionally, the committees advise King County and others
on groundwater related actions and activities. The Northeast Sammamish Sewer and Water District has actively participated
on the Redmond-Bear Creek Groundwater Protection Committee for several years.
|Protection of Local Streams
When the District constructs facilities near a stream, monitoring devices are placed in the stream to monitor water quality. This ensures
that construction run-off is carefully monitored and controlled. The District also collects rain data, which is used to study interactions
between the water systemsí operations and the local aquatic system.
Stationary generators have been installed at sewage lift stations next to streams or environmentally sensitive areas. In the event of a
power outage, sewage pumps are unable to operate and there is the potential for sewage overflows into adjacent areas. The backup
power generators eliminate this risk. In additions, lift stations are designed with additional storage capacity to allow time to respond to
|Inflow and Infiltration Program
Inflow and Infiltration is water that enters
a sewer system through indirect (infiltration) and direct (inflow) means. Infiltration is extraneous ground water that enters the sewer system
through leaking joints, cracks, breaks or porous walls. Inflow is stormwater that enters the sewer system from storm drain connections
(catch basins), roof leaders, foundation and basement drains, or through manhole covers. All sewer systems have some I&I. The Districtís
level of I&I is very low. A low rate of I&I has two important implications.
First, the District is conveying less sewage to King Countyís treatment plant. This has both regional and local implications. On a regional
level, the lower the total level of I&I, the less pipe and treatment plant capacity necessary. The same is true on a local level. The lower the
I&I level, the less sewage pumping station and pipe capacity are necessary.
Second, if a lower amount of I&I enters the sewer system, a greater amount of water remains in the local ecosystem. This is not only
important for stream quantity, quality and fish habitat but also for the Districtís wells. Groundwater recharges the Districtís wells, which
allows the District to continue to provide high quality water to its customers.
|Water Use Efficiency
In September 2003, the Washington State Legislature passed the Municipal Water Supply Efficiency Requirements Act.
The Water Efficiency Rule requires all municipal water suppliers to set water efficiency goals and provide annual
performance reports on achieving these goals to customers and the Washington State Department of Health.
The District has adopted the following water use efficiency goals:
Achieve a reduction in water use per ERU of five percent by the year 2021, with the
average of years 2001 through 2005 as the base. This reduction will result
in an average demand reduction from 270 to 257 gallons per day per ERU by 2021.
Increase awareness among all water users of the value and importance of conserving
water and of the methods available to achieve reductions in water use.
The goals were adopted on April 3, 2008. The District continues to fund education programs, print conservation tips in
our newsletters, have an increasing block rate structure, provide rebates for water efficient clothes washers, meter sources
and customer services, provide customer bills showing a consumption history, provide water conservation kits to our customers
and maintain a low leakage rate.
Customer water conservation has important affects on the environment. Water that is not pumped by the Districtís wells can remain in
the ground and may benefit stream quality, quantity and fish habitat.
On an individual level, the Northeast Sammamish Sewer and Water District implemented a graduated rate structure in 1992 in which the
water rate increases with the amount of water used. The District has purchased water conservation kits that are free to its customers.
Annually, the District purchases lawn-watering calendars for District customers, which provide a recommended watering schedule. The
District also mails out periodic newsletters to its customers that provide information about issues affecting the District and encourage
customers to conserve.
On a regional level, the Northeast Sammamish Sewer and Water is a member of the East King County Regional Water Association
(EKCRWA), which in turn is a member of the the Central
Puget Sound Water Suppliers Forum (Forum) and the Washington Water Utility Council (WWUC).
The Central Puget Sound Water Suppliers Forum (Forum) is an on-going effort to determine water needs for people and how these needs
will be met over the next 20 to 50 years. These efforts are conducted through the Forumís Water Planning Committee and a variety of
workgroups, including the Conservation Workgroup.
The Washington Water Utility Council has been very supportive and encourages legislative support of the water conservation activities
undertaken by the state departments of Health and Ecology.
|What Can You Do?
The following steps can help protect the environment:
Conserve water when possible. See our water conservation tips
Proper application of pesticides and fertilizers
Disconnect any storm or roof drains connected to the sewer system
Watch the The Groundwater Story (video) - King County Groundwater Protection Program