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Woodland Creek Pollution Reduction Project

Tanglewilde Stormwater Project

Over the past several years, Thurston County has worked on a $750,000 grant-funded project aimed at reducing the amount of fecal bacteria that enters Woodland Creek from the Tanglewilde community. The fecal bacteria is flushed into Woodland Creek from stormwater runoff that comes from roads, roofs, driveways, lawns and other impervious surfaces in the Tanglewilde neighborhood. The polluted runoff flows to a low point on Husky Way and is eventually piped to an outfall on Martin Way, which dumps the water directly into Woodland Creek.

tanglewildeThe original plan was to install 83 drywells and up to 5.5 miles of swales in county right-of-ways, with the goal of infiltrating more stormwater on-site so that less flowed into Woodland Creek. In pursuing the project, however, Thurston County faced significant challenges with existing public utilities and with the already-built environment. As a result, the county has decided to take a different approach to increase infiltration. Instead of installing swales, the county will install a series of eight new drywells with interconnecting infiltration galleries near the end of Husky Way. The county has already repaired more than 50 existing drywells elsewhere the Tanglewilde neighborhood. Combined, these improvements are expected to greatly reduce the volume of polluted stormwater runoff that enters Woodland Creek.

The county will install the new drywells on Husky Way in 2012, and will monitor the outcome of this project closely.

As a Tanglewilde resident, you can help reduce stormwater pollution by following a few simple steps: use fewer chemicals on your lawn, pick up pet waste and put it in the trash, avoid over-watering grass, and aerate your lawn to increase infiltration (see below).  These small, individual actions can make a great difference in the health of Woodland Creek.

Rain Garden at Lydia Hawk Elementary School

rain gardenIn June 2010, students from Lydia Hawk Elementary School helped WSU Native Plant Salvage Project and South Sound Green staff install a rain garden at the school.  The rain garden is one of several projects Thurston County is undertaking to treat and infiltrate stormwater in the Tanglewilde area.

Lawn Aeration

Aerating lawns is a great way to boost your property's ability to infiltrate rainwater while improving the health of your lawn.  It involves using a special machine that removes plugs of soil so that more air and water can move into the soil. If four or more households in Tanglewilde agree to share an aerator and aerate their lawns, Thurston County will pay for the cost of renting the aerator up to a maximum of $100. For more information, contact Jane Mountjoy-Venning at 867-2582 or e-mail venningj@co.thurston.wa.us.

Background Information

  • Click here to view geologic findings from the Husky Way area. (PDF)
  • Click here to view a map of the monitoring sites (JPG)

Contact Us

 Staff contact: Larry Schaffner (360) 754-4106 E-mail: schaffl@co.thurston.wa.us

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