If you are thinking about a late fall home improvement project and you live around Lake Whatcom, keep in mind the land-clearing restrictions set in place by the City of Bellingham.

According to the City, “No land-disturbing work is allowed in Basin One of the Lake Whatcom watershed from October 1 through May 31. Land-disturbing activities include clearing plants, grading, filling, excavating, trenching and any other activities that would result in exposed soil or earthen areas. All exposed soil and earthen areas greater than 500 square feet (SF), including non-active vegetable gardens and flower beds, must be protected with approved soil-coverage techniques.” Find out more in detail here.The reason seasonal land disturbance rules were put in place in Whatcom County is due to environmental issues. Stormwater washes over yards, pavement, and roofs, causing erosion and carrying pollutants from fertilizers, pesticides, car oil, soaps, etc. Stormwater and erosion from the neighborhoods around Lake Whatcom flows through ditches and storm drains into pipes that lead to Lake Whatcom which is a source of drinking water in Bellingham.

Local property owners wanting to do outdoor home improvement projects within the Lake Whatcom Watershed, like new driveways, retaining walls and patios, need to be started and finished in June, July, August and September.

Land disturbance activities such as excavation or leveling for construction projects are said to alter the soil profile by destroying vegetation and established root channels. Those activities expose the soils to increased wind and water erosion, especially in seasonally wet months. Rules were put in place to minimize the harm of erosion and to protect local drinking water.

One way to help mitigate stormwater and erosion issues in Whatcom County is to install pervious concrete surfaces like driveways, paths and patios in watershed areas. Pervious concrete has a high porosity that allows water to disburse and filter through—this type of filtering can dramatically reduce runoff.

Homeowners interested in learning more about stormwater management can research different types of watershed-friendly mulches, drain rock, sand, and permeable concrete and pavers.

Custom Concrete Contracting can help with ideas and creating what works for your property according to the city restrictions. Call us today! 360-676-1665.