Environment

Lynden farm discharging 'bacteria-contaminated' waters since 2019

Owners appealing state-issued fine
August 4, 2022 at 3:33 p.m.

By JULIA LERNER
Staff Reporter

A Whatcom County farm has been fined $3,000 by the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) after continuous water-related violations, according to a DOE statement.

Snow Farms, located in Lynden, has been documented discharging bacteria-contaminated water since 2019, representatives from DOE said. 

"We've been trying for several years to communicate with them," said Scarlet Tang, a communications manager at DOE. "They just haven't been responsive to our request to help them look at remedies for their particular property."

Tang said the department did several site visits and attempted outreach, as well as repeated water sampling at the farm. 

The Department is looking for evidence of fecal coliform bacteria, a bacteria present in human and animal feces. Though coliform bacteria does not typically cause illness, it can indicate other disease-causing pathogens may be in the water system, according to the Washington State Department of Health

DOE said it will only issue fines after repeated warnings. 

The owners of the farm could not be reached for comment, but Tang said they plan to appeal the fine. 

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