A Department of Ecology report revealed human sewage, animal waste, and fertilizer were seeping into the groundwater and flowing into Woodland Creek. It also showed shallow groundwater was contaminated with nitrates at amounts over the drinking water limit in some places. (Although the city water supply is safe.)
Because Woodland Creek is the largest tributary into Henderson Inlet, the Department of Ecology, mandated a cleanup up of both Woodland Creek and Henderson Inlet.
Thurston County, the City of Lacey, and the LOTT Wastewater Alliance hired Pacific Groundwater Group and Brown & Caldwell to estimate the amount of fecal coliform bacteria and nitrate pollution coming from various sources in a 5,885-acre area along Woodland Creek, and to identify options for reducing the pollution.
The consultants listed actions to reduce pollution, and grouped them into "low," "medium" and "high" categories. The names referred to both the expected level of effort required to implement the options, and the expected reduction in pollution. After a series of public meetings, the consultants recommended the "medium" option.
Thurston County is now pursuing those recommendations -- specifically in the Tanglewilde and Woodland Creek/Covington Place neighborhoods.
Project & Engineering Documents
Department of Ecology report identifying the problems | Woodland Creek Project Area Map | Current Site Conditions Summary / Full Report | Future Load Estimates Summary / Full Report | Full Pollution Reduction Plan (the County is only doing stormwater projects)
Inventory of Septic Systems in Nearby Neighborhoods (Tanglewilde, Thompson Place & Bicentennial) | Nitrate Study of North Woodland Cr. | Henderson Inlet Implementation Program | Pollution Source Investigation