New law: Septic system inspections required at time of property sale in Clallam County  – PDN

I was pondering this very issue as I drove through the Sequim valley last week. Thousands of homes, virtually all of them on septic systems, and the knowledge that the beaches around the Dungeness estuary, Spit and surrounding areas are often closed to shellfish harvest because of fecal coliform levels. While many, if not most septics are fine, having at least a check every time a sale is transacted is a good start.  The thing to remember is that there is groundwater under there. At some point a failing system is likely to affect it.

A septic system inspection will be required at the time of a property sale under a revised Clallam County sewage code that takes effectThursday (May 1). 


Feasibility study addresses Dungeness/3 Crabs-area pollution – PDN

This actually seems to be a reasonable alternative. The recommendation is to enforce current laws, raise the local money to pay for regular inspection, which as I have heard, is not happening currently, and monitor to see whether the problems improve. Rushing to judgement on putting in a huge infrastructure project, even if it’s eventually found to be the right solution, seems premature. Let’s make sure the existing laws work, before abandoning them.

Clallam County should strengthen an existing program to operate and maintain individual on-site septic systems in the Dungeness/3 Crabs area, a new study concludes. Staying the course was one of four alternatives being considered in a feasibility study for wastewater management in an unincorporated area where failing septic systems were said to be polluting Dungeness Bay with fecal coliform and nitrogen. Damon McAlister, a senior engineer with Parametrix, and county Environmental Health Director Andy Brastad presented the final study to the Clallam County commissioners Tuesday. Rob Ollikainen reports.

Feasibility study addresses Dungeness/3 Crabs-area pollution

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Study confirms septic system problems in Hood Canal – Kitsap Sun

– This supports the work People For Puget Sound and others did a few years back to help get inspections for septic (even self inspections). – editor

4/12 Kitsap Sun
Study confirms septic systems as prime suspect in Hood Canal fish kills
By Christopher Dunagan

SEATTLE — Septic systems in Southern Hood Canal appear to play a pivotal role in the massive fish kills that plague the waterway, according to a long-awaited report by a team of scientists.

The scientists’ general findings about what causes oxygen to reach deadly levels in Hood Canal vary little from a description they provided in 2008. Since then, the group has conducted an extensive analysis, offering more precise estimates about the sources of nitrogen entering the waterway.

Their final conclusion is that roughly 20 percent of the nitrogen in Southern Hood Canal during summer months comes from septic systems. That is enough nitrogen to push oxygen levels into a critically low range and set up conditions for a massive fish kill in the fall.

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