Pits and Quarries
The Equipment Services division of Whatcom County Public Works
directly affects the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) Division
of Public Works through the administration of the Pits & Quarries
supply operation. The availability of the materials supplied
through the Pits
and Quarries operation enables the Maintenance Crew access to
the necessary rock, pit run gravel, and other materials used to
complete road maintenance projects in a timely fashion. This
service allows for the least impact on county residents and visitors
as well as minimal cost to county taxpayers. In 2001, the two
active gravel pits produced approximately 44,000 yards of gravel.
Due to the nature of Equipment Services, it is necessary to
receive timely information on projects and goals of M&O.
The necessity to maintain a certain level of stockpiled mineral
resources and other road construction materials either stored
at a pit or quarry or mined directly impacts Equipment Services
work load and scheduling.
The county currently does very little mining at the several
pits and quarries located throughout Whatcom County. Any
mining operation involves securing the necessary permits for
this type of operation from the Washington State Departments
of Natural Resources and Ecology and Whatcom County Planning
and Development Services. Currently there are two active
pits, Siper and Abel, permitted for mining pit run. The county
also contracts with private contractors to crush rock at the
Every active pit and quarry requires monitoring for water quality.
Monitoring for water quality and the pH level is undertaken at
areas that accumulate stormwater runoff. The Washington Department
of Ecology receives quarterly reports on the data. These environmental
requirements demand constant monitoring resulting in procedural
updates on a regular basis.
Pits provide storage areas for materials purchased for M&O
road maintenance use and staging areas for contracted road construction
projects. Security at all hours for pits and quarries is high
with extra precautions occurring after hours.