Two weeks ago KEA held a Volunteer Lake Monitors kayaking trip. The morning was beautiful and calm, perfect for enjoying the beauty of CdA Lake and Spokane River. The 9 volunteers and KEA geared up and launched out in boats provided by North Idaho College Outdoor Pursuits. We headed downstream towards three stormwater outfall pipes. Here is where we discussed the impacts of stormwater pollution on the lake and river which we were currently floating on.

Discussing stormwater pollution at outfall pipe near NIC

Stormwater pollution carries an arsenal of pollutants including, heavy metals such as zinc, copper and lead, soaps, oil and grease, trash, cigarette butts, sediment and  many others. The most compelling topic was the studies done on these outfall pipes showing lead and zinc levels above the acceptable standard for aquatic wildlife health. At these levels there can be adverse affects on behavior, development and potentially cause death. Also, Fecal Coliform and E. Coli levels were found to be higher than the test limits, meaning there was a very high source of contamination. There we were floating on a beautiful body of water discussing the unseen and harmful stormwater flowing from pipes all around the City of CdA and discharging right into our beaches and shorelines.

Volunteers of all ages!

The purpose of this trip was to learn about stormwater pollution and to show volunteers how to identify any type of pollution and then report it to the proper agencies. Even if you are not sure what you are seeing in the water or if you notice clear evidence of pollution, always call the authorities to report it. The more that we show that we care about our Lake and River the more attention we can get the from the agencies to protect it. Please stop by our office to pick up your waterproof pollution prevention card that lists the contact numbers for reporting pollution. Also, download the Pollution Reporting Form to document any incidents.

Volunteer collecting samples of stormwater flow from pipe

See our previous blogs about stormwater pollution to learn more about what it is and how you can prevent it. Thank you to our volunteers who are now prepared to be CdA Lake Monitors. If you would like to participate in a kayak adventure with KEA in the future email