Linda Hofstad, Thurston County, on “Improvement in Henderson Inlet water quality/shellfish harvest status”:
All was going well until State Department of Health started looking at water quality data, and closures and downgrades resulted.
2001 Shellfish Protection District formed, and in 2003 grant dollars became available to develop septic program.
Keys: 1) process;
2) risk-based approach (low risk systems inspected every 3 years, high risk: inspections plus dye test every 6 years);
3) incentives and asssitance (riser rebates, low interest loans, homeowner workshops, and grants)
Many people with septic systems repaired theirs before the inspection/tests. The #1 neglected maintenance issue was pumping septic tanks.
Stormwater is also a key priority.
What made it happen? willd, hardwork, cooperation
Who made it happen? watershed residents, homeowners, farmers, cities, county staff, state agencies