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Equipment Services

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Pits and Quarries

 

 
Equipment Services

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 Tractor in quarryPits 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 pits.

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.