Designation of the Henderson-Nisqually Watershed Protection Area extended to 2027
OLYMPIA – On Tuesday, November 14 the Board of Health voted 3-0 to amend the County's Sanitary Code and extend the designation of the Henderson Watershed Protection Area through December 31, 2027.
Tuesday's vote eliminates a $326 reinstatement charge septic owners pay to bring their systems into compliance with the sanitary code and aligns the code with the septic program ordinance for the Henderson Watershed Protection Area.
"This community cares deeply about the quality of its marine waters, and about clean and healthy shellfish that support our northwest economy," said Commission Chair, Bud Blake. "The Board is dedicated to promoting, preserving and protecting the public health and see this as a very important step in supporting the health of our communities."
The protection area was formed in 2007 after fecal coliform was found in water and shellfish at the Henderson Inlet. Since its inception, hundreds of acres of shellfish growing area have been reopened because of water quality improvements. More than 86% of the septic systems in Henderson are current with inspections and maintenance, making it one of the highest success rates in the Puget Sound area.
Thurston County also offers guidance on how to maintain septic systems, as well as access to septic repair loan financial assistance.
The protection area program is funded by a charge to people who live in that area. On September 12, 2017, the Board of Commissioners approved adjustments to fees and charges, adding a $10 charge for each additional septic system and adjusting rates for larger non-residential systems.