McLane | Swift Creek

​Routine water quality testing in Thurston County has shown occasional high levels of harmful bacteria in McLane Creek and its tributaries. Thurston County Public Health's Clean Water Program is doing more tests in the area to keep an eye on bacteria levels and to try to find the sources of bacteria. We may offer voluntary property visits to residents in areas with the highest levels of bacteria if tests continue to show elevated levels. 

  • Here's how you can help prevent bacteria from getting into the creek!
      • Waste from chickens, livestock, and farms can get into McLane Creek. The Thurston Conservation District offers free technical assistance and can help develop a manure management plan.
      • Septic systems: If a septic system isn't working properly, bacteria can end up in the Creek. Yearly inspections can find potential issues. We also recommend getting your septic system pumped every 3-5 year. There are several programs that offer financial assistance for septic maintenance, including the Craft3 program and the Homeowner Grant Program for septic system maintenance.
      • Pet Waste: Dog poop contains a lot of bacteria that can get into McLane Creek. Get a free pet waste bag dispenser for your neighborhood! More information can be found on the Stream Team website.
      • Wildlife: Feeding wildlife causes animals to gather and their waste gets into McLane Creek. Please, DON'T feed wildlife.
      • Stormwater: Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that runs off land, rooftops and driveways and can enter nearby waterways. Stream Team has information on managing stormwater.
      • Over-watering your lawn can cause extra water to runoff and carry bacteria pollution from your yard into storm drains, rivers, streams, and Puget Sound. Lawns only need 1 inch of water each week to stay green all summer. This inch includes water from any rain that we may receive. For dormant lawns that are allowed to turn brown, water 1 inch per month, spread out over the entire month. If you have an irrigation system, check to make sure it's adjusted for your current landscape and not a new lawn. You can find more lawn care information here: 5 Steps to Natural Lawn Care.

​Bacteria Results on McLane and Swift Creeks

The table below shows how many times there have been high levels of bacteria at each monitoring site. Sites with more frequent high results may be closer to bacteria sources.

A result is considered high if it's over 320 Most Probable Number (MPN), the number set by the Washington Department of Ecology. Although the average level is below the level set by the State, there have been occasional higher levels. 

​Site
​Number of High Results
​Average Result (MPN)
​McLSMu
​2
​12
​McLSCF
​5
​32
​McL tribA
​1
​76
​McLD
​2
​45
​McLSM
​2
​44



​Contacts

Email Tamara Cowles or call 360-490-3423

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