E. North Street Phosphorus Management Retrofit

Project Overview: EV-0125

Lake Whatcom, the drinking water source for over 100,000 residents of Bellingham and Whatcom County, has experienced a decline in water quality. Residential development is one of the causes of excess phosphorus (natural and man-made nutrients that harm water quality) in the lake.

The City is part of a multi-jurisdictional effort to protect the Lake Whatcom watershed by implementing projects and programs that eliminate phosphorus pollution in stormwater. These efforts include aggressive retrofitting of existing stormwater infrastructure to maximize nutrient-removal opportunities.

This project addressed a portion of the watershed that drained to Lake Whatcom without phosphorus treatment.

It involved installing an enhanced pollution treatment system that reduced phosphorus in runoff from over 19 acres of residential development and public rights-of-way. The project was evaluated using Department of Ecology-approved modeling which indicated the system would remove over 9.5 pounds of phosphorus annually.

Construction included the installation of a vault using a crane.

The enhanced pollution treatment system collects runoff and routes it through a series of new pipes and filters that will control large volumes of runoff to remove phosphorus. Much of the drainage into these systems starts further uphill, at the top of a long gravel road that carries untreated runoff into pipes that discharge directly into Lake Whatcom. These systems could utilize buried tanks to store more runoff and increase the positive impact of the project.

Update – February 2021


  • Advertise for consultant qualifications
  • Select consultant
  • Prepare scope of work and negotiate agreement
  • Submit Inadvertent Discovery Plan
  • Site survey
  • Initiate design
  • Design 30%
  • Evaluate/select design alternatives
  • Submit Design Report to Ecology for review
  • Design 60%
  • Submittal of permits
  • Submit Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) cultural resource document
  • Ecology Design Report acceptance
  • Submittal of 90% Plans, Specifications and Estimate
  • Project Advertisement for bids
  • Council Award of construction
  • Construction Start
  • Substantial Completion
  • 1 Year Maintenance/Guarantee Period
  • Project closeout

Project Details

  • Status – Complete
  • Vicinity Map
  • Contract Awarded – May 8, 2017
  • Contract Amount –  $313,764.50
  • Contractor – Colacurcio Brothers, Inc.
  • Completion Date:  September 22, 2017
  • Final Contract Amount:  $384,063.10


​Larry Scholten, P.E.
Project Engineer
Phone: (360) 778-7923
Pub​lic Works Contacts

Participating Departments

Affected Neighborhoods

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