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A galvanized plate hides an underground vault filled with cartridge filters. A low speed bump running across the boat ramp staging area captures the runoff and sends it here.

Boat Launch Vault

Where is this located? It is located next to the boat ramp between the Multi-purpose Building and the lake.

What’s special about this place? The parking lot and loading area around the boat ramp are heavily used, especially during the summer. Runoff from these areas are directed to a vault which provides treatment. This vault collects all the water on the lake side of the parking lot and cleans it using stacks of cartridge filters stored inside the vault. After treatment, the water is infiltrated into the ground via an infiltration basin that is hidden near the shoreline. Since the filters are effective at capturing pollutants, they require frequent cleaning to remove accumulated sediment and are inspected to monitor their effectiveness and life span.

About Vaults and Tanks

Vaults are typically large concrete boxes buried under a parking lot, street, play field, or tennis court. Vaults hold stormwater when there is not enough space above ground to infiltrate runoff or to build a holding area such as a detention pond. Vaults can be built strong enough to support heavy vehicles. Many times, vaults are filled with cartridge filters, typically cylindrical devices, filled with special material that traps particles and absorbs pollutants as the stormwater soaks through the filter. These pollutants include dirt, sand, sediment, hydrocarbons, fertilizers, and metals like zinc and copper that are toxic to fish.

Water Quality Benefit: Some vaults have a sand filter or cartridge filter system included in their design. Storm filters require frequent cleaning to remove accumulated sediment and are inspected to monitor their effectiveness and life span.

Water Quantity Benefit: Vaults delay the entry of runoff into streams and rivers during storm events which can prevent flooding and reduce erosion in rivers and streams. Holding water underground can also help reduce high creek temperatures during the summer months. High-temperature runoff (>70 degrees F) can be very harmful to migrating salmon, especially in the late summer.

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Drains 1.2 acres.

Where does this stormwater runoff come from? The stormwater from this site comes from the parking lot, a sloped area near the corner of the multi-purpose building, and the boat ramp itself.

Where does this stormwater runoff flow next? Stormwater flows to the Beach Sand Filter, then into Lake Whatcom.