County LogoClallam County, Washington

PIC Pilot Implementation Project

What’s New with the PIC Program?

Latest PIC Open House was on June 23rd, 2017 at the Dungeness Schoolhouse

The latest PIC Open House was held on June 23rd, 2017 with encouraging community involvement. A PDF version of the June 23rd, 2017 PIC informational presentation is available for public review.

Financial Assistance Available

As promised at the August 2015 PIC Open House, Clallam County Environmental Health (EH) is working to provide financial assistance to help property owners in the PIC Pilot Project Area (see map below) meet the state requirements of locating their septic system and having their septic system inspected. 

Financial assistance such as low interest loans through Craft 3 and USDA and up to 75% cost share assistance through the Clallam Conservation District is also available to help homeowners repair or replace failing onsite septic systems. See additional information provided on these programs in the link below. 

Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC)

In 2014, the Clallam County Environmental Health, in partnership with the Clallam Conservation District, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe and public, developed a Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) plan to map out a strategy for identifying and correcting sources of water pollution. For more information on the public PIC planning process, visit the Clallam Conservation District PIC web page.

Implementation of a PIC pilot project began in Summer 2015 in the lower Dungeness watershed, including the areas of Golden Sands Slough, Meadowbrook Slough, Meadowbrook Creek, and the Dungeness River. PIC work continues to show success and the project area will now expand to include waters further up the Dungeness into the Matriotti watershed.

PIC Pilot Project:

Lower Dungeness Water Quality

The marine shoreline of the Lower Dungeness watershed has abundant shellfish beds that have been harvested and enjoyed for generations. This watershed and its freshwater tributaries (including Meadowbrook Creek, Golden Sands Slough, Meadowbrook Slough, Cooper Creek, and Dungeness River) also have a long history of fecal bacteria pollution dating back to the early 1990’s.  Because of this, the tidelands surrounding the mouth of the Dungeness River are closed to shellfish harvest year-round, and other areas are closed during winter months. Over the past 15 years water quality improvements have been made, leading to shellfish area upgrades, but there is more to do.

Map of PIC Pilot Project Area

What are the water quality concerns?

This area continues to have fecal pollution problems associated with failing septic systems and animal waste. The Lower Dungeness area needs ongoing work to protect people from getting sick from direct water exposure or through shellfish consumption.  The winter months, when the ground is saturated, are when marine water quality is most impacted.  Controlling and reducing bacteria entering stormwater and inspecting and fixing septic system and proper disposal of animal waste are the priorities of the Pollution Identification & Correction (PIC) Program. Working together we can make a difference to improve water quality for today and future generations to come.

COMMON SOURCES OF FECAL POLLUTION:

Flooded Failing Septic System
Failing or flooded septic systems
Open Ditch in a Pasture
Animal waste runoff from farmland

What is being done?

Clallam County Environmental Health (EH) with its partners has implemented a Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) pilot program.  Staff will work with property owners and residents to reduce fecal pollution and provide site-specific tips on how to get the most life from onsite septic systems. If we find localized pollution in your neighborhood, we will:

  • Contact you to arrange a meeting on your property
  • Provide you with your septic records and free technical assistance about how to get the most life from your septic investment
  • Ask permission to see your septic system, and in some cases, collect water samples and perform dye testing
  • Help you prevent fecal pollution
  • Monitor water quality changes and report to the community
  • Inform you of financial and technical resources available to help homeowners if a fecal pollution problem is identified on their properties

Results

Through the Baseline Trends Monitoring Program we partnered with Streamkeepers volunteers and the Jamestown S'klallam Tribe to collect environmental & water quality data. We have been monitoring water quality trends in the Marine Recovery Area associated with the Dungeness Bay Shellfish Growing Area since 2015. Water quality data are collected near the mouths of streams within the Clean Water District that ultimately drain into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Sampling occurs monthly for some streams and quarterly for others. See the 2016 trends sampling sites maps (2.1 MB PDF) for the locations of specific sampling sites.

Trends data help project partners decide which waterways need the most attention. When trends results point toward polluted water, targeted monitoring teams work their way upstream to try to pinpoint suspected pollution sources.

Trends raw data are available here (zoom in for readability). Site names correspond to the locations shown in the maps, above.

Streamkeepers staff has put together annual trends reports, summarizing results.

2015-2016 Report

2016-2017 *DRAFT* Report

Please use the contact links below if you have any questions or comments regarding the PIC Implementation Process.

Clallam County Health & Human Services
Regular Email Form | Anonymous Email Form