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May 26, 2016: Tenmile Clean Water Project hosts Septic Challenge update at June 8th monthly public meeting

posted Aug 18, 2016, 1:13 PM by Virginia Cleaveland   [ updated Aug 18, 2016, 1:19 PM ]
Whatcom County Health Department will present results of septic system inspections in the North Lynden Watershed. 

The Whatcom County Health Department will present results of the county’s septic system inspections in the North Lynden Watershed during a monthly public meeting of the Tenmile Clean Water Project from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM on Wednesday, June 8th, at Bellewood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian, Lynden.

The Tenmile Clean Water Project is a citizen group working to lower fecal coliform bacteria levels in the Tenmile Creek Watershed. The group is coordinated by RE Sources for Sustainable Communities.

Mike Kim, an environmental health supervisor with the Whatcom County Health Department, will present the results of the county’s efforts to gain compliance with on-site septic (OSS) maintenance and inspection requirements in the North Lynden Watershed. That watershed had the most elevated fecal coliform levels in the county, and was selected as the watershed of highest concern in the county’s efforts to lower fecal coliform in the Nooksack River and Portage Bay.

Nine months ago, more than 70% of OSS systems in the North Lynden Watershed had never been evaluated and were out of compliance with inspection requirements. After the Health Department sent a series of notices to watershed residents, all but 10 sites out of 1,355 completed inspections and gained compliance.

“By offering cash incentives and free homeowner training workshops, our Health Department has put forth a really impressive effort to achieve compliance in this watershed,” said Lee First, North Sound Baykeeper for RE Sources for Sustainable Communities. “This is an important piece in solving the fecal bacteria pollution program in our county.”

The Whatcom County Health Department has since turned their focus to OSS owners that are out of compliance in Tenmile, Fourmile and Deer Creek Watersheds. In April, the Health Department sent letters to almost 1,800 residences in Tenmile, Fourmile and Deer Creeks that were not in compliance with OSS rules. Several county-sponsored workshops were hosted, with more planned.

Residents of Tenmile, Fourmile and Deer Creeks can attend the June 8th meeting to learn more about what’s required to gain compliance, when the next workshops will be held, and learn about rebates that are currently offered.

The Tenmile Clean Water Project is a group of citizens who mostly live in the Tenmile Creek watershed. Their mission is to reduce the level of fecal coliform in Tenmile, Fourmile and Deer Creeks. The group also aims to become the first watershed in Whatcom County that is fully compliant with OSS rules.

Tenmile Clean Water Project public meetings take place at Bellewood Acres on the second Wednesday of each month. More information about the Tenmile Clean Water Project can be found at http://www.re-sources.org/tenmile-creek.

Media Contact: Lee First, North Sound Baykeeper, leef@re-sources.org, 360-733-8307
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