Protecting Our Liquid Assets
Water resource information for Vashon-Maury Island
King County sent the Protecting Our Liquid Assets mailer to Vashon Island residents to learn about their water resources.
The Protecting Our Liquid Assets mailer is offered in Adobe Acrobat format. For help using Acrobat, please visit our Acrobat help page.
Island Stories (2.88 Mb)
We drink rain. Rain feeds our streams, ponds and becomes our groundwater. These fluid features make up a hydrologic system that supports our way of life, the quality of the water we drink, the salmon in our waterways and the wildlife that share our Island.
Watch Out for that Ditch! (5.23 Mb)
Most of us have gotten to know the Island from behind a windshield. There are about 150 miles of county-maintained roads on the Island and many of those roads have ditches on both sides. These ditches are workhorses, having to manage all the rain that runs off the roads as well as other hard surfaces, like our driveways, that feed into them. Have you ever wondered what the ditches do with all the water they carry?
What’s Your Watershed Address? (2.5 Mb)
We all know our street address, but if we took away the roads, do you know where you live in our landscape? Think about the slope of your land. After a heavy rain storm, which way does the water flow from your property? Can you locate the watershed in which you live? Who are your watershed neighbors?
Going Under Ground - Geology of “The Rock” (1.92 Mb)
Vashon-Maury Island’s nickname, “The Rock,” is somewhat of a misnomer. The Island is essentially the refuse left by the comings and goings of glaciers. It is a pile of cobbles, gravel, sand, silt and clay; a scattering of boulders with a bit of organic matter thrown in.
Setting the Water Table (6.94 Mb)
You can’t see it, but there are hills of groundwater beneath our feet. In some locations on the Island, water infiltrates downward more easily and begins to build up, forming mounds of water. These groundwater mounds will try to flatten out, so the water beneath our feet is always on the move.
Sipping Sand Slurpies (3 Mb)
We drink rain. Rain seeps into the Island and is stored between grains of sand and gravel. We punch big straws into the ground and suck water back up to quench our thirst. We lap up rain from streams and capture it in springs before it makes its great escape to Puget Sound. Rain is Island life.
Experienced Water, Where Does It Go? (1 Mb)
Island sewage only has a few options. It can be collected and piped to a wastewater treatment plant; it can stay at home and be treated in your own backyard, or in some instances it might be collected with the neighbors’ wastewater and taken care of in a community system. It all depends upon where you live.
Doing Our Business (1.23 Mb)
Upland runoff and groundwater feed our creeks. In spring, Judd Creek has high fecal coliform bacteria from the feces of warm-blooded animals. Autumn nitrogen levels in Mileta Creek are five times higher than the other creeks. Because runoff gets to creeks faster than it percolates to groundwater, the creeks serve as an early warning system for potential threats to our groundwater and potable water supply. Not all of the bacteria and nitrogen in the creeks come from humans, but it is a safe bet that some does and we don’t really want to drink it no matter who put it there.
Comprehensive list of information sources, maps, publications and websites related to Vashon - Maury Island water resources.
Download all pages (20 Mb)
For questions about the Protecting Our Liquid Assets mailer, please contact Greg Rabourn, Manager, King County Groundwater Protection Program. The Protecting Our Liquid Assets mailer is a collaboration of Vashon-Maury Island Groundwater Protection Committee and King County Water and Land Resources Division.