Clallam County Department of Health & Human Services, Environmental Health, obtained grant funding from the Department of Ecology for a feasibility study to develop wastewater treatment options to address failing and problematic onsite septic systems in unincorporated Dungeness and nearby Three Crabs-area shoreline neighborhoods.
The primary goal the O&M program is to prevent premature failures by normalizing regular inspections. Preventing premature failures will reduce health and economic disparities created by failing systems by reducing exposures and protecting investments. A failing system requires substantial resources to repair, has the potential to impact human and environmental health, lowers property values, and can create legal issues.
In the summer of 2013, we conducted a direct mail and on-line survey of On-site Septic System (OSS) owners in Clallam County, WA. The survey had a response rate of 13.5%, which far exceeded expectations. The goal was to receive 400 surveys back and CCEH received 2,138 filled-in surveys. The survey information collected was used to help adapt and adopt outreach strategies and activities that increase OSS inspection compliance rates as well as to gauge the level of support for funding clean water programs such as OSS management and Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC)
In July 2005, the Washington State Board of Health adopted Chapter 246-272A WAC, which requires local health departments to develop plans for the management of on-site septic systems (OSS) within their jurisdictions. In 2006, the Legislature enacted RCW 70.118A, which requires local health jurisdictions that border Puget Sound to identify Marine Recovery Areas (MRA) where OSS contribute to marine water quality problems, and to develop management strategies to find and repair all failing OSS within the MRA.
The "Red-to-Green" project started in 2009 when the County received Centennial Clean Water Program grant funding through the Washington State Department of Ecology to update records, locate septic systems for which there were no records, and encourage inspections and system upgrades such as risers and outlet filters when possible.