Reducing Pollution in Woodland Creek and Henderson Inlet
A March 2006 study by the Department of Ecology revealed serious fecal coliform bacteria pollution in Woodland Creek downstream of Martin Way. Within the same area, shallow groundwater is also contaminated with nitrates at amounts over the drinking water limit in some places. Fecal coliform bacteria and nitrate contamination indicate that human sewage, animal waste, and other pollutants such as fertilizer are seeping into the groundwater and flowing into the creek. (Please note: The city water supply is safe.)
The contamination in Woodland Creek ultimately ends up in Henderson Inlet, because the creek is the inlet's largest tributary and it drains approximately 19,000 acres of land. The Department of Ecology, through the "TMDL" process, has mandated the cleanup up both Woodland Creek and Henderson Inlet.
The Woodland Creek Pollutant Load Reduction Project
In 2006, Thurston County, the City of Lacey, and the LOTT Wastewater Alliance hired a consulting partnership (Pacific Groundwater Group and Brown & Caldwell), to estimate the amount of fecal coliform bacteria and nitrate pollution coming from various sources in a 5,885-acre area along Woodland Creek, and to identify feasible options for reducing the pollution. (Click the thumbnail to see the study area.)
The consultants then provided a list of feasible actions that could be taken to reduce pollution, and grouped them into "low," "medium" and "high" categories. The names referred to both the expected level of effort required to implement the options, and the expected reduction in pollution. After a series of public meetings, the consultants recommended the "medium" option. Thurston County is now pursuing those recommendations -- specifically in the Tanglewilde and Woodland Creek/Covington Place neighborhoods.
Staff contact: Larry Schaffner (360) 754-4106 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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