Water that Works for All of Us: Bellevue’s WaterWorks Grant Award

King County Councilmembers Claudia Balducci and Reagan Dunn announced today that the City of Bellevue will receive $175,000 from the 2017 WaterWorks Grant program as part of King County’s efforts to improve regional water quality.

“I am pleased that Bellevue will be able to utilize these grants to their full potential, helping clean up our environment and continue to provide water quality for generations to come.” Said King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci. “These community water projects will help create a healthy environment while also adding sustainable solutions for our people and green spaces.”

The City plans to partner with US Fish & Wildlife, Washington State University and NOAA Fisheries to build two biofiltration facilities that will be used to evaluate and monitor water quality in the detention ponds in Bellevue and King County. The results could limit the toxic effects wastewater have on the local salmon population.

“Improving local water quality is good for both residents and the local environment,” said Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn, who represents part of Bellevue. “I am glad that my colleague Councilmember Balducci and I could work to support these important projects in the City of Bellevue.”

As the City of Bellevue continues to rapidly grow, stormwater runoff has been an increasing concern. Left untreated, urban stormwater runoff impairs water quality and is toxic to salmon, as well as humans.

The funds approved today will enable the city to pilot an innovative way to manage stormwater runoff.

“Bellevue is excited at the opportunity this grant provides our city – the promise of reducing polluted runoff and returning salmon to our streams.” Said Mayor John Stokes of Bellevue. “While we are taking a small step by testing this new technology at two stormwater detention ponds in Bellevue, our hope is that we will be successful and expand its use to potentially  115 other sites in the city. With the potential to quickly and inexpensively help clean up runoff before it reaches streams and lakes, we hope to become an example and that our approach can be used by others.  Bellevue looks forward to working with King County and others to clean up our region’s waterways.”

The County Council awarded approximately $2 million for a variety of projects to support sound investments in clean water and the community.

The WaterWorks Grant Program provides funding to organizations for projects that protect and improve water quality within King County Wastewater Treatment Division’s service area, and that benefit its ratepayers. Non-profits, schools and educational institutions, cities, counties, tribes, and special purpose districts are eligible to apply. Partnerships are encouraged, and key criteria include community involvement and support.