The Lower Stillaguamish River Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) Program helps to identify and correct sources of bacterial pollution in the Lower Stillaguamish River Basin.
Pollution Culprit: Fecal Coliform Bacteria
The Lower Stillaguamish River Basin is the priority focus area due to fecal coliform bacteria levels exceeding Washington State water quality standards. Fecal coliform bacteria is a widely used indicator of the presence of other microorganisms that can cause diseases. It is found in the feces of warm-blooded animals including livestock, humans, pets, and wildlife. Fecal coliform bacteria can get into rivers and Puget Sound in a variety of ways. If septic systems are failing or manure is not adequately contained, the sewage or manure containing the bacteria can run off the property during storm events and drain into rivers or the Puget Sound.
Contact with water or consumption of shellfish polluted with fecal coliform bacteria can cause illness such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and ear infections or more serious diseases such as hepatitis and salmonella.