Lower Stillaguamish River Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) Program

The Lower Stillaguamish River Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) Program is a proactive effort led by Snohomish County Public Works to identify and remediate sources of bacterial and nutrient pollution in the Lower Stillaguamish River basin west of Interstate 5. Implementation of this program is one of the primary ways that Snohomish County is protecting and restoring water quality in the Stillaguamish River Clean Water District. This effort is also the primary focus of Snohomish County's Stillaguamish Shellfish Protection Program.

Why the Lower Stillaguamish River
Pollution from the lower Stillaguamish basin affects 4,950 acres of commercial shellfish growing areas as well as recreational water uses in South Skagit Bay and Port Susan. Snohomish County, in partnership with the Snohomish Conservation District, Snohomish Health District, Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Agriculture, Stillaguamish River Flood Control District, and City of Stanwood is focusing on the Lower Stillaguamish River area because it has been identified as having significant bacterial pollution problems.

What is Being Done
Water quality sampling and contaminant source surveys are being used to identify specific locations of pollution. Based on this information, Snohomish County and project partners are focusing pollution prevention and remediation efforts on three general pollution sources:
  • Livestock manure
  • Failing on-site septic systems
  • Household pet waste
Snohomish County is facilitating inter-agency cooperation on the enforcement of existing state and county water pollution control regulations. Together they are:
  • Focusing on raising public awareness about the pollution problem and ways people can protect and restore water quality in the area. 
  • Providing technical assistance and cost share for agricultural best management practices (BMPs) and on-site septic system (OSS) repairs.
PIC Historical Background and Policy Drivers