East Jefferson County Water Quality News - Winter 2018
Duckabush Mile 5.0
Duckabush River at Mile 5

Central Hood Canal Project focuses on rivers and shorelines in Southeast Jefferson County

With the recent downgrade of the shellfish beds at the mouth of the Duckabush River this past year by the State Department of Health, Jefferson County Public Health initiated a new water quality project to identify and eliminate fecal bacteria sources, which began in October. So far:

  • We have completed 3 months of sampling at 14 stream/river sites on Fulton, McDonald, Duckabush, Walker, Dosewallips, Rocky Brook and Pierce Creeks. All samples so far have passed the Washington State Standard for bacteria
  • We have sampled 47 unique shoreline sites along approximately 2 miles of shoreline in the Dosewallips area and identified 4 sites with elevated bacteria levels.
  • We are conducting site visits to resolve over 50 complaint and violation cases within the project area and we'll be starting regular sanitary surveys in the spring. 
  • Lastly, we are working with other stakeholders on a closure response plan, which will outline the actions needed to restore and protect water quality in the area and upgrade the Duckabush shellfish beds.
This Central Hood Canal Project will run until early 2020 and regular water quality updates will be made on the project. You can also visit our Central Hood Canal Project website.
Brad Stone taking stream samples
Brad Stone taking stream samples

Early results from stream, shoreline & marine sampling in Discovery Bay

The Strait Priority Areas Project is plugging along with water quality monitoring for streams, shoreline, and marine sampling. Stream samples have been taken for the last 3 months (November-January). Although it is still too early to see any definitive trends in the water quality, preliminary sample results have been low for fecal coliform bacteria. The highest result so far has been from Zerr Drain with 166 colony forming units (cfu) per 100 milliliters of water in December. Andrews Creek mile 1.71, and Snow Creek mile 3.9 were 52 and 88 respectively. All other results were lower than Part 1 of the Washington State bacteria standard (which states that average fecal coliform should not exceed 50 cfu/100ML).

JCPH staff have monit
ored 11.6 miles of shoreline with another 20 miles to go. One high hit with a result of 1,187 MPN/100ML (MPN is the statistical probability of the number of organisms per 100ml) for Enterococcus bacteria was found at a storm drain for a Cape George neighborhood just south of their marina. This site is under investigation. Beginning in January, JCPH staff will start marine sampling in Discovery Bay on odd months (the State Department of Health samples on even months). JCPH staff are researching properties near the shoreline of Discovery Bay and septic systems not current on Operation and Maintenance inspections to prioritize them for surveys. Surveys and outreach will continue until the end of 2019. Visit the Strait Priority Areas Webpage.
Tarboo Shoreline from the air
Tarboo Shoreline from the air

Results are in for Stream Sampling in Quilcene-Dabob Project

One year of monthly stream monitoring is completed in the Quilcene-Dabob Bay Project area and the results have been compared to the two-part state standard for fecal coliform levels in bodies of water designated as extraordinary primary contact (see below). The first part of the standard requires that the geometric mean value should not exceed 50 colony forming units (cfu) per 100 milliliters of water. The second part of the standard states that no more than 10% of samples can exceed 100 cfu/100mL. Both parts need to be met to pass the State standard. Of the 17 stream locations studied, five failed the State standard. Further investigation of upstream drainages in Donovan Creek and its tributaries, Jakeway Creek and Cemetery Drain, are necessary to eliminate sources of nonpoint source pollution.

Shoreline monitoring of freshwater inputs into Quilcene and Dabob Bays will continue through March and bimonthly monitoring of marine stations will continue through the summer. Stream monitoring for the project finished up in October of 2017. Learn more on the Quilcene-Dabob Project webpage.
Fecal Coliform Bacteria Results
Quilcene-Dabob Stream Stations passing/failing State Bacteria Standards - 2017
DOE Logo

JCPH Projects supported by the Centennial Clean Water Grant

Jefferson County Public Health Water Quality Monitoring Projects including the Central Hood Canal, the Strait Priority Basins and the Quilcene-Dabob Projects discussed above are all funded in part by a State Department of Ecology Centennial Clean Water Grant.

Lower Chimacum Creek
Lower Chimacum Creek

Jefferson County Invites Applications for Open Space Projects

Jefferson County welcomes applications to protect important open space lands through the county’s Conservation Futures Program. Citizens, landowners, and citizen groups as well as local government agencies, special purpose districts, and non-profit corporations within Jefferson County may apply for funds in partnership, as applicable, with a local sponsoring organization based in Jefferson County.

In the 2018 funding cycle, approximately $275,000 is available to new projects. Of this amount, up to $35,947 is available to reimburse operations and maintenance expenses for any property acquired with the Conservation Futures Fund. A minimum matching amount of 50% of the total project cost is required of the project sponsor. Sources of match must be non-county funds such as private contributions, state and/or federal grants, and/or the value of other open space lands linked to the project.

The deadline to submit applications is Friday, March 30, 2018. Check the full press release. For applications or more information, contact Tami Pokorny at (360) 379-4498 or tpokorny@co.jefferson.wa.us.

O&M Classes

FREE Homeowner Septic System Care and Maintenance / Homeowner Inspection Certification Trainings

Spring/Summer 2018
Pre-Registration Required
please call (360) 385-9407

                  Wednesday, May 2nd - 9 AM to 2 PM

Tri Area Community Center
10 West Valley Road
Chimacum, WA 98325

Thursday May 3rd - 9 AM to 2 PM
Quilcene Community Center
294952 Hwy 101
Quilcene, WA  98376

Thursday May 10th - 4 PM to 8:30 PM
Tri Area Community Center
10 West Valley Road
Chimacum, WA 98325

Anderson Lake
Anderson Lake

Toxic Algae Update for Jefferson County Lakes

Summer and Fall of 2017 had some of the most toxic and longest running algal blooms in Jefferson County lakes since monitoring began. Regular monthly monitoring will resume in the Spring. In addition, there is an Anderson Lake Management Plan set for work to begin during the winter months of 2018. This would allow the development of a nutrient budget, a lake management plan, and potential options for algae control in the future.

USDA Rural Assistance Program

$18,000 for repairs last year in Jefferson County

If your home (including your on-site septic system) needs repairs or improvements, and you can't get a loan elsewhere, the USDA Rural Assistance Program might be able to provide some help.  $18,000 funds from their 504 Repair program were given out in Jefferson County in 2017. Grants are also available to qualifying applicants. The rules have changed quite a bit, so to see if you are eligible, check their latest update.


Over $1 million spent for clean water in Jefferson County

Craft3 is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) lender with a mission to strengthen economic, ecological and family resilience in Pacific Northwest communities. By the end of 2017, they provided 57 loans to homeowners needing to repair and replace their on-site septic systems. These loans total $1,438,885 and have resulted in the treatment of 5.5 million gallons of wastewater each year that would have otherwise polluted local waterways. Sixty-five percent of these loans were to low-income households (below 80% County Median Income) and very few applicants were declined for credit or reasons related to insufficient income.

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