Kitsap County Surface Water Management (SWM)

Pollution Control Plan

Date Plan Created/Updated


Process for Creating SPD/Plan

Kitsap County's stormwater utility provided funding for Kitsap Health to establish and conduct County-wide fresh and marine water trend monitoring and develop and implement the Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) priority list and protocol. Kitsap Health uses monitoring data from the prior two water years (October – September) to rank water bodies in Kitsap County based on documented water quality problems. The Kitsap County Surface and Stormwater Source Control Committee then identifies and ranks areas for cleanup.

Link to Pollution Control Plan


Pollution Source: On-Site Sewage System (OSS)

(See also Kitsap County's OSS website)

Identifying Potential Pollution Source

Kitsap uses a “closed loop process” that coordinates water quality work within the stormwater utility between four agencies: Kitsap County, Kitsap Public Health District, KCD and the Washington State University Cooperative Extension.

Kitsap Health developed the first comprehensive OSS Operations and Maintenance (O&M) program in Washington State. The program protects public health and water quality through an ongoing OSS inspection program conducted by certified contractors, staff follow–up, enforcement of needed corrections, and public education and outreach. An O&M database was developed and is vital to the success of the program. It allows contractors to enter inspection information online, run reports showing when a property is due for inspection, and download OSS permit records. Kitsap Health uses the database to track required contracts, inspection deficiencies, OSS failures, and performance of various type of systems/technologies. Washington State licensed designers and certified septic installers, O&M specialists, and pumpers are required to report OSS inspection and pumping data online and to report failures and system deficiencies. OSS failures are also identified and confirmed through the public complaint process. The County defines “failure” in Appendix A of Ordinance 2008A-01 (PDF).

Kitsap Health's trend monitoring program was established in 1997 to collect monthly samples from fresh water and receiving marine waters, assess data and compare to state water quality standards, and evaluate for short-term and long-term trends. Marine water monitoring is coordinated with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) marine water monitoring. Areas that do not meet water quality standards are evaluated and ranked for PIC corrective work.

A shoreline survey is the inventory and bacterial assessment of all flowing discharges to the project area shoreline. Dry season events, May 1 through September 30, can identify problems in areas where stormwater masks pollution sources or where residences are only occupied in the summer. Wet season assessments, October 1 through April 30 can identify OSS failures caused by high seasonal groundwater and surface water drainage issues. Samples are collected at low tide to target the discharge of fresh groundwater versus the drainage of residual marine water. Detailed field notes, photographs and Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates are collected in support of samples. Confirmation samples are collected in drainages with results above a predetermined threshold and hotspot investigations are conducted when the geometric mean of the confirmation samples exceed that threshold. Kitsap County typically uses E. Coli (EC) for shoreline surveys and the PIC Protocol establishes the confirmation and investigation threshold at 406 counts of EC per 100mL.

Validating Source of Pollution

Pollution sources are confirmed through parcel surveys, water samples, and dye testing.

Verifying Pollution Source Has Been Corrected

Post-corrective monitoring is conducted to determine whether follow-up dye testing is necessary to verify that the pollution source has been corrected. Trend monitoring data and O&M reporting provide additional confirmation.

Establishing a Threshold (concentration, number of counts or flow rate)

Kitsap Health identifies pollution areas of concern based on whether trend monitoring data meets the state water quality standard for fecal coliform. The PIC Protocol establishes a threshold for when shoreline survey samples need confirmation and for determining “hotspots” that need investigation. Kitsap County recently participated in a rotating shoreline survey pilot project with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This proved to be a cost effective method of targeting the areas that are currently impacting the shoreline's water quality. Previously, lower level thresholds (160 EC/100 mL) resulted in a number of indicated hotspots that were unable to be tracked back to pollution sources. Kitsap County typically tests EC counts for shoreline surveys because it is a better indicator of fresh water for public health and is cheaper to measure. The PIC Protocol establishes the new confirmation and investigation threshold at 406 EC/100mL.

The County is working with the Hood Canal Coordinating Council on a Hood Canal PIC program that uses slightly different thresholds since Kitsap County is compromising and collaborating with Mason and Jefferson Counties. The regional guidance document uses thresholds of 200 fecal coliform (FC) per 100 mL or 100 EC/100 mL, with one or two confirmation sampling rounds. Kitsap County prefers three samples to create a geometric mean. The Hood Canal regional PIC will use an investigation threshold of 500 FC/100 mL or 320 EC/100 mL.

Pollution Source: Agriculture & Livestock

Identifying Potential Pollution Source

Kitsap Health has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the KCD to ensure inter-program coordination and effectiveness. Kitsap Health includes the KCD in pollution control grants in areas with significant farm activity.The KCD inventories and ranks agricultural and livestock sites based on site conditions and potential to pollute. Kitsap Health confirms all high priority farms and investigates sites with potential pollution sources through bracketed water sampling and comparison to state water quality standards. Owners and residents of parcels with water quality violations are contacted for a parcel survey and informed of the water quality violation, the Kitsap County solid waste regulation (PDF) requirements that manure be managed in a manner that prevents surface and drinking water pollution, and any other nuisance conditions. Owners and residents are referred to KCD for technical assistance and potential cost-share facilitation and asked for permission to forward contact information to the KCD planner working in the area. Kitsap Health and KCD work closely to craft site-specific strategies to correct the violation. Non-cooperators are enforced pursuant to Kitsap's solid waste regulations. Kitsap Health conducts farm inspections – see below (Parcel Inspection (Sanitary Survey)). Refer to page 12 of the Animal Waste Pollution Identification Strategy for more information on how Kitsap Health and KCD work together and perform rankings, parcel visits, technical assistance, follow-up, enforcement, and proposed strategy elements.

Validating Source of Pollution

Pollution sources are confirmed through the collection of three FC or EC samples collected during a wet weather season (October – April). A geometric mean value of the three samples is calculated and then compared to the water quality standard.

Verifying Pollution Source Has Been Corrected

Pollution source correction is confirmed through the same process as pollution source validation.

Other Pollution Source

Pet Waste

The West Sound Stormwater Outreach Group (WSSOG) is made up of Kitsap County, and the cities of Poulsbo, Bremerton, Port Orchard, Gig Harbor, Bainbridge Island and Port Angeles. They are an active participant in Puget Sound Partnership's Stormwater Outreach for Regional Municipalities (STORM). They conducted a baseline public opinion survey in 2008 to identify a baseline of behaviors, attitudes and stormwater awareness. They selected pet waste pickup and disposal as a key behavior for evaluating awareness and behavior changes. Two programs were implemented and coordinated by Kitsap County Public Works (KCPW) in 2009: the Backyard Pet Waste Pilot Campaign and the Community Mutt Mitt Program. The Backyard Pet Waste Pilot Campaign was launched on a small scale until a follow up evaluation demonstrated that residents recalled and understood the messages and talked to others about pet waste disposal. From 2010 through 2012 the campaign was expanded and delivered to more than 25,000 residents with lots of .5 acres or less. The WSSOG pet waste brochure notes that more than eleven tons of dog waste area dropped on the Kitsap Peninsula alone every day. The Community Mutt Mitt Program was established to address pet waste in public places. This program has resulted in the establishment of 294 Mutt Mitt stations installed and maintained by volunteer community groups. In 2012 alone, over 540,000 pet waste disposal bags were used, representing over 89 tons of dog waste diverted from Kitsap County surface waters.

Wastewater Treatment Plant


Other (including wildlife, stormwater, marinas)

Sewage in Kitsap County marinas is regulated via ordinance 1999-13, Marina Sewage Regulations (PDF). In regards to wildlife, Kitsap County operated a pilot project in the Clear Creek watershed where they partnered with KCPW to address food source control (properly disposing of grease and garbage), and to inventory and assess stormwater systems. Poor housekeeping practices were found to attract urban wildlife, resulting in a pollution source. Properties with poor housekeeping practices and/or deficient storm water systems were required to correct the problems. After the corrections were made, fecal coliform numbers were dramatically reduced.

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