Jefferson County Clean Water District - Tools for Correcting Pollution Sources

Water Quality Monitoring and Dye-testing

(Includes establishing water quality monitoring, ambient monitoring, targeted shoreline monitoring, storm/event sampling.)

Dye testing is performed for on-site sewage systems (OSS). Jefferson County has found that freshwater water quality shoreline monitoring as well as tracking complaints are the most reliable and efficient ways of finding problem OSS. Comprehensive stream monitoring is useful in finding OSS issues, although it is energy intensive. Dye tests are used when appropriate to confirm connectivity with local surface waters. At least three shoreline samples within one month are taken to confirm if samples are actually high.

Office Evaluation

(Includes GIS and other existing data evaluation.)

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis is utilized, but the county needs updated GIS resources. Permit database and tax assessor's databases need better coordination.

Parcel Inspection (Sanitary Survey)

Sanitary surveys of high priority (older or near surface water) OSS are conducted in grant project areas. OSS operation and maintenance (O&M) compliance is being implemented in stages. Sanitary surveys include educational information targeted to individuals.

Visual Inspections from Vehicle


Experimental Methods

Microbial Source Tracking (MST)

Jefferson County has submitted samples for MST testing from Chimacum Creek, although they have not been processed yet. This work captures community interest and helps the community to accept pollution problems.

Plane Fly-Overs


Scent Testing



Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) payments are available.

Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Fencing of Heavy Use Areas

JCD assists with agricultural BMPs, including riparian fencing and door-to-door farm surveys.

Riparian Buffers

Grant funding has been used to plant buffers in some project areas.

Farm Plans

JCD assists with agricultural BMPs, including farm plans.

Operation and Maintenance (O&M)

OSS O&M compliance is being implemented in stages. The county requires O&M at the time of sale of a property or when a homeowner is applying for a permit. The county amended the code to allow homeowners to do their own inspections (after undergoing training). Linda Atkins ( or 360-385-9403) can be contacted with questions about the Jefferson County O&M Program.

Other Tools


More About Jefferson Clean Water District

Other Shellfish Protection Districts