In 2007, water quality concerns in Henderson Inlet
triggered the formation of the Henderson Shellfish Protection District Septic Maintenance
Program. Fecal coliform bacteria was found in the water and shellfish grown in
Henderson Inlet at levels that could make people sick. The shellfish protection
district created programs to educate the public, inventory local septic systems
and help county staff make sure that all septic systems in the area are taken
care of and that failing systems are fixed. The program is funded by a charge
to people who live in the Henderson Shellfish Protection Area. This program is
one of several water quality improvement projects undertaken by community partners.
Yes! Hundreds of acres of shellfish growing area have
been reopened because of water quality improvements. Over 86% of the septic
systems in Henderson are current with inspections and maintenance. This is one
of the highest success rates in the Puget Sound area.
success of the past 10 years needs to be sustained as our population
continues to grow and change. Our region is known for its access to beautiful
waterways, mountains, and streams. Henderson Shellfish Protection Area is an
example of teamwork in the community working to keep our citizens, our precious
resources and our economy healthy.
changes to the program
The program currently requires that high risk septic
systems be dye traced every six years. The new proposal changes this to every
nine years. A review of the data shows that the county could reduce the
frequency of dye traces and still protect public health.
The proposal adds a $10 charge on properties that have
more than one septic system. This charge helps pay for the time needed to
review records and oversee the monitoring and maintenance of these additional
Increase charges $2/year for low and $6/year for high
risk systems. This extra money will help reduce dependency on grants so that
grants can be used in other high priority areas in the county.
Strengthen water quality monitoring through a
Pollution and Identification Correction or PIC program. Adding PIC allows the
county to respond to complaints and further investigate documented water
quality problems in streams or shellfish monitoring stations.
On September 12 at 5:30 p.m. the Thurston County Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing to review and receive testimony on the ordinance to re-enact rates and charges for this program. Come and give us your feedback, share your concerns and have your questions answered!
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make their home into a healthier space!
seeking a committed, passionate person to help lead our Healthy Homes
Program! Thurston County Healthy Homes Program helps people reduce their
exposure to toxics, asthma triggers, mold, and other housing-related health
risks. Local residents invite trained
volunteers into their homes to provide these optional Healthy Homes Visits.
AmeriCorps member will serve in the Thurston County Public Health and
Social Services Department. Eligible applicants must be between the ages of
18-25. Position begins September 1 and comes with a living stipend of $1,195 a
month, a bus pass, student loan forbearance or deferment, eligibility for basic
health insurance, and an AmeriCorps Education Award of $5,775 upon successful
completion of the program. To learn more
about AmeriCorps visit the Washington
Service Corps website.
The Healthy Homes Project Lead will:
- Organize and
complete the Healthy Homes volunteer training.
Healthy Homes Visits for local residents and childcare facilities.
follow-up contacts, and other program services.
- Manage program
volunteers including recruitment, scheduling and tracking hours.
partnerships with local healthcare providers.
volunteer support and recognition events.
creative and innovative program outreach activities to engage the community.
track, and analyze program data to evaluate program effectiveness and impact.
assist department education staff with other outreach and evaluation activities.
Traits of the ideal candidate:
- Will be enthusiastic and embrace challenges, be professional and
friendly, demonstrate commitment to workplace collaboration, and have the
ability to establish and maintain professional demeanor in stressful
- Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing with tact,
diplomacy and clarity to multiple audiences.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality, and adherence to legal and ethical
- Ability to organize, prioritize and coordinate work, research and prepare
- Must be able to comply with a smoke-free and drug-free work environment,
and pass child safety screening.
- Two years of college level course work. Solid computer skills and
knowledge of Microsoft Office.
- Must possess a current and valid Washington driver's license within two
- Must be between the ages 18-25.
Apply through the AmeriCorps website. This opportunity closes on July 17 at 8:00
am Pacific Time, and is contingent on funding. For more information please
contact Elisa Sparkman, Healthy Homes Program Coordinator at (360) 867-2579, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This advisory is no longer in effect. Water truck
available daily between 4-7 p.m.
The water truck (Water Buffalo, Inc.) will park at
the Fire Station at 2815 Summit Lake Shore Rd NW between 4-7 p.m. Residents can
bring their own containers to collect water for drinking and cooking during
those times. This water truck will be available daily between 4-7 p.m. until
meeting on Saturday. *** Updated: Location Change***
Come to the community meeting on Saturday May 13
from 2-4 p.m. at the new location - the Boy Scout Camp 11740 Summit Lake
Road NW. Staff from Thurston County Public Health will be there to answer
Information Line: (360) 709-3080
The Public Information Line is being updated regularly.
County Public Health advises no contact with the water.
Summit Lake is under advisory for a toxic algae
bloom. The algae bloom is producing high levels of the toxin Anatoxin-a, which
is toxic to the nervous system. The Thurston County Board of Health has
declared this as a community emergency.
Do not drink the water, do not shower or bathe
in the water, do not use the water for cooking, washing dishes, laundry or to
water pets or animals.
Avoid all contact with the lake water.
Keep pets and children out of the water.
Don’t fish or swim in the water.
Public Health took 11 additional samples from
around the lake on Tuesday May 9 and should have tests results back by Friday
May 12. We will continue to update residents as we know more.
If you have additional questions or concerns,
contact Thurston County Environmental Health at (360) 867-2626.
This advisory is no longer in effect. Summit Lake is under advisory for a toxic algae bloom.
Residents living on Summit Lake who get their tap water from the lake should
not use their tap water for drinking, cooking, or bathing. Disinfection,
boiling, and treatment systems don’t remove or deactivate the algae toxin.
Current levels are at 354 micrograms per liter. One
microgram per liter is considered a reason for health concern. The bloom is
producing high levels of the toxin Anatoxin-a, which is toxic to the nervous
Public Health also advises the following other
- Residents should find a temporary alternative source of safe drinking water.
- Don't shower in water taken from the lake until laboratory tests show the water is safe.
- Avoid contact with lake water.
- Keep pets and children out of the water.
- Don't fish or swim in the water.
Public Health will continue to monitor the situation
and will take more lake samples in the next week. We will continue to update
residents. Please share this information to help get the word out. You can find
more information about toxic algae here.