Langley City Council gave the city’s Planning Department a thumbs up to pursue daylighting for Brookhaven Creek on Monday night at City Hall.
Daylighting involves the redirection of a stream above ground and restoring it to a more natural state. Brookhaven Creek is a small natural stream that runs through the center of Langley and Thomas Hladkey/Whale Bell Park.
The 170-foot stream’s headwaters are located in the wetlands near Langley’s current well site, where it also collects storm water for most of the city, including multifamily, single family and commercial properties, according to city documents.
The project is meant to improve the creek’s water quality and add a new aesthetic focal point for the park that also has “potential to include educational elements to engage visitors at the park on the importance of water quality,” according to a report by Planning Assistant Kelsey Loch.
It will also address current shortcomings with the surrounding drainage basin that the creek is used as an outfall for, which were highlighted in a study completed in a 2009 Stormwater Comprehensive Management Plan. Water quality treatment, clogged storm drains and near-capacity pipes are among the current woes.
Loch said the city will send a request for grant funding through the Puget Sound Partnership, which is “a state agency leading the region’s collective effort to restore and protect Puget Sound,” with the hopes of securing enough money to fund a feasibility study.
The study should provide details of the “opportunities and limitations” for the project and determine whether it can relieve stress on the current stormwater system, provide public education and habitat improvements, improve water quality and if it has engineering practicability.
The park itself has constraints due to its size, the need for a service road, the pump station’s location and the seawall.
Mapping the location and depth of the piping for the creek is needed, while regular water quality sampling to measure the long term viability of the project is also necessary.
Another goal is to identify additional biological indicators that can also determine whether or not the project can be successful.