Swan Creek Action Plan and Implementation

About the Project

Since 2008, the Surface Water Management (SWM) division has tracked and reported the water quality of streams and lakes in an annual Surface Water Report Card. Streams and lakes are graded on a scale of 'F' (failing) to 'A' (excellent). In 2012, a project team was assigned to identify problems, partners, and solutions to water quality in Swan Creek. 

In 2017, Swan Creek received a "C" grade. The consistently low grade is due to high levels of fecal coliform, nitrogen and phosphorus, all of which can come from human and animal waste. In addition, Swan Creek is on the Washington State 303(d) list of polluted waters for fecal coliform. The Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity (BIBI) score for Swan Creek is also poor. This is also included in the calculation of the grade. The BIBI score is based on the type and amount of bugs that live on the bottom of the stream. The type and amount of bugs can tell a lot about the health of a stream. In the case of Swan Creek the degraded habitat appears to be limited in its diversity of environments, which in turn limits the diversity of the "bugs".

Characterization and Action Plan

Pierce County contracted with GeoEngineers to research information about the Swan Creek basin, collect additional data and create an action plan. The final product is the Swan Creek Watershed Characterization and Action Plan. It was completed in 2015 and includes strategies to improve water quality and reduce sediment in the creek and reprioritization of stormwater facilities and needed actions, upgrades and repairs.

The Swan Creek Implementation Team formed after the plan was completed and meets quarterly to coordinate actions within Swan Creek Basin. Team partners including staff from the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, City of Tacoma, Tacoma Water, Pierce Conservation District, Metro Parks Tacoma, Puyallup River Watershed Council, Friends of Swan Creek Watershed, Port of Tacoma, citizens, university faculty and more.

Additional Information

Projects in Swan Creek Basin

Swan Creek Channel Restoration at 64th Street

Swan Creek Community Planting

The video below is from 2013

Contact Us
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Lisa Spurrier
Lead Entity Coordinator
Phone: (253) 798-6158
7:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Mailing Address:
2702 S 42nd St, Ste 201
Tacoma, WA 98409-7322

In Person: Visit Suite 109