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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Scott Lindblom, Engineering Project Manager, 360-867-2329

Thurston County Septic to Sewer Conversion Project is Complete

OLYMPIA- A significant milestone to improve water quality in Woodland Creek and Henderson Inlet has been completed under budget and on schedule by Thurston County Public Works. The project converted dozens of Thurston County homes from on-site septic systems to public sewer and will help improve water quality in Woodland Creek and Henderson Inlet.

State Department of Ecology and Thurston County Public Health studies completed in 2006 showed that septic systems were significant fecal coliform pollution sources. The Woodland Creek Estates and Covington Place developments were identified as significant contributors to nitrate and fecal contamination. Fecal coliform bacteria can be found in human sewage and animal waste and is a health threat for people who come in contact with contaminated water or eat contaminated shellfish. Providing a public sewer system to these neighborhoods was the highest priority sewage management project.

The project required collaboration among several agencies according to Thurston County Board of Health Chair, Commissioner Karen Valenzuela. "We are especially grateful to the City of Lacey and LOTT for helping to keep the cost of sewer connections down. All of the financial and technical assistance helped make the project a real success." Other partners include Thurston County Environmental Health and Public Works, and the State Departments of Ecology and Commerce. Thurston Public Works officials also greatly appreciated the cooperation of homeowners and praised them for hooking up to the sewer system and for putting up with two years of construction.

Details of the "Woodland Creek Estates Sanitary Sewer Project"

  • 128 homes changed from septic to public sewer
  • Two and one-half miles of sewer main installed
  • Because of the project, more than 30,000 gallons of sewage will be removed from the Woodland Creek basin each day and sent to the LOTT plant for treatment.
  • 20 of the properties fronted Woodland Creek
  • Thanks to grants and loans, more than $5.76m was obtained through the State Departments of Ecology and Commerce
  • Enough savings were found to pay the entire cost of sewer hookups for the property owners involved. (Earlier estimates were that each homeowner would have to pay about $6,640.)

County Commission chair Sandra Romero says, "I would like to express my appreciation to the team who pulled together the financial assistance for homeowners. Hopefully, in the future, we will be able to establish a fund or funding mechanism to help offset the cost of future septic failure repairs or sewer conversions."

Those who wish to learn more about the project should visit the Thurston County web site at http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/waterresources/woodland/woodland-home.html



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3