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 lake 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 addresses a portion of the watershed that currently drains to Lake Whatcom without phosphorus treatment.

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

Construction will include the installation of a vault using a crane, which is expected to impact traffic.

The enhanced pollution treatment system will collect runoff and route 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 system could utilize buried tanks to store more runoff and increase the positive impact of the project.

Update – January 2019


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 awards construction bid
Construction start

Substantial Completion

1 Year Maintenance / Guarantee Period

Next milestones:
Final close out

Project Details

  • Status – Complete, Warranty Period
  • 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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