Sequim-Dungeness Clean Water District - Enforcement and Education


Letters to Property Owners



The Clallam County OSS Ordinance outlines the enforcement of OSS violations in the area. Enforcement tools such as issuing civil infractions (ticket writing) were recently incorporated into EH code but are yet to be tested. Clallam County received funding to bring the Sheriff Department's code compliance deputy on some site visits. However, if it is obvious a property owner doesn't want anyone on their property, the sheriff will not enter. The Clallam County prosecutor is reluctant to issue search warrants, so these properties are documented as ‘unknown'. In general, the field staff can determine whether they feel comfortable entering a property. If not, they can call the sheriff.

Education and Outreach

Programs (including community demonstrations and school programs)

An online septics class and reporting form is available through the county website and has greatly improved the ability of homeowners to meet the requirements of the MRA. The county conducts Septic 101 classes and homeowner do-it-yourself OSS inspection classes (now online) and provides various educational brochures in cooperation with partners such as the CCD. At the Dungeness River Fesival EH staff provide information at a booth and have an OSS walk-through model (popular with young visitors). CCD conducts workshops and farm tours throughout the year to promote agricultural BMPs and distributes educational materials at various community events.

Mailings and General Outreach (including O&M manuals, guides)

The county sends out quarterly newsletters known as the “Clean Water Herald” with articles about O&M and how to complete it, plus other pertinent information. CCD publishes a quarterly newsletter and posts information on BMPs on its website.

Social Marketing and Behavior Change

In Clallam County, commissioners like to hear from their constituents when they feel strongly about funding a program. In that case, any social marketing program would have to address encouraging constituents to talk to their commissioners.


In Clallam County, staff sent out a county-wide survey asking about OSS owners' attitudes regarding OSSs, O&M, and other factors (online and hard copy to almost 16,000 OSS owners). The county hoped to have 400 surveys returned, and instead received over 2,000. The survey report will be available in mid-2014.

Websites and Social Media

Clallam County has developed an online do-it-yourself homeowner septic system inspection tool. CCD posts BMP information on its website.

Events (including workshops, open houses, and dinners)

Clallam County and CCD participate at the annual Dungeness River Festival. Staffing shortages and a reduced work week schedule restrict the amount of participation at other public events.

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