Ground Water

Brief History

The Snohomish County Ground Water Program is the direct result of the Ground Water Management Plan (GWMP) developed in accordance with Washington Administrative Code Chapter 173-100. This regulation establishes a process for the identification and designation of ground water management areas and for the development of comprehensive ground water programs. The GWMP provides the framework for the protection of ground water resources within Snohomish County.

Snohomish County finished developing the Draft Ground Water Management Plan in 1999. The GWMP was certified by Ecology in May, 2001. The Surface Water Management Division was designated as the lead agency for implementing the GWMP. To meet the demands of implementing the Ground Water Management Plan, the Surface Water Management Division applied for and obtained a Centennial Clean Water Fund Grant from Ecology with local match from the county’s general fund. The grant was awarded in August 2001 and implementation of the plan has already begun. Current activities of the Snohomish County Ground Water Program can be found below.


Surface water management developed a Ground Water Program to manage and protect the groundwater resources in Snohomish County. Program objectives include:

  • Preparing a subarea groundwater study to evaluate groundwater issues and recommend solutions at a local scale.
  • Providing stewardship of groundwater in Snohomish County by recommending and implementing actions to protect groundwater quality for residential consumption and groundwater quantity for aquatic ecosystems.
  • Providing management, policy, and technical expertise to help protect the quality and quantity of the groundwater resources in Snohomish County.
  • Identifying development standards, policies, and regulations that would protect recharge to groundwater, prevent groundwater contamination, and maintain groundwater inputs to stream baseflows.
  • Coordinating and implementing groundwater management alternatives with purveyors, county departments, state and federal agencies, and interested parties as set forth by Snohomish County’s Groundwater Management Plan.