Hood Canal Regional Pollution Identification and Correction Program

Counties and tribes collaborating to improve water quality

The Hood Canal Regional Pollution Identification and Correction (HCRPIC) Program is a unique collaboration between the Hood Canal Coordinating Council, Kitsap County, Mason County, Jefferson County, the Skokomish Indian Tribe, the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, conservation districts, state agencies, and other local partners. The HCRPIC partners work collaboratively to protect and restore water quality for the benefit of Hood Canal’s community and economic health, its vast shellfish resources, and the ecosystem services they provide to other fish and wildlife. HCRPIC partners share information and resources, and amplify each other’s efforts to identify and correct pollution problems in the watershed. A big focus is the watershed’s approximately 32,000 on-site sewage systems, of which almost all  are close to water bodies and 40% are over 30 years old. These systems are potential sources of bacterial pollution which can cause illness and lead to closure of economically important shellfish growing areas and recreational beaches.

The HCRPIC Program has been conducted in phases with implementation starting in 2014.  Its approach includes assessing priority shorelines and drainages to target emerging pollution issues, investigating pollution sources, and supporting property owners to complete needed corrections.  Since beginning implementation, the HCRPIC program monitored 132 shoreline miles for bacterial pollution, conducted 1,158 site visits, and identified 131 on-site sewage system failures. The program provided 203 on-site sewage system maintenance rebates to qualifying homeowners in priority areas to incentivize regular maintenance and repairs and prevent future pollution leaks. More than 75% of septic tanks serviced through the program were past the recommended three-year inspection period. The HCRPIC Program’s ongoing water quality outreach efforts are informed by focused audience research to better understand the Hood Canal community’s interests and needs for water quality information, and on-site sewage system maintenance and stormwater management assistance. Partners continue to track causes of failures and map monitoring activities in order target priority areas for ongoing shoreline monitoring and pollution investigations. The partners are also advancing outreach and education efforts, and pursuing solutions for long term sustainable funding for Hood Canal’s water quality programs.

Find more information on the HCRPIC Program at www.HCCC.wa.gov and track our success on OurHoodCanal.org.

What worked:

  • Surveyed 132 miles of shoreline and conducted 1,158 site visits to identify 131 on-site sewage system failures, which could then be repaired.
  • 203 on-site sewage system maintenance rebates provided for needed maintenance and repairs which helped address financial barriers that limit the repair or replacement of on-site sewage systems.
  • Collaboration between jurisdictions built a regional approach for Hood Canal water quality protection

Benefits:

  • Water quality is improved for people, fish, and wildlife.
  • Shellfish growing areas remain open for harvest.

Location:

  • Congressional District: 6
  • Legislative District: 23, 24, 35
  • WRIA: 14, 15, 16, 17
  • County: Kitsap, Mason, Jefferson

Partnerships:

  • Kitsap County
  • Mason County
  • Jefferson County
  • Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe
  • Skokomish Indian Tribe
  • Jefferson Conservation District
  • Mason Conservation District
  • Kitsap Conservation District
  • WA Department of Health
  • WA Department of Ecology
  • Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group
  • Washington State University Extension
  • Puget Sound Institute

Project Funding:

  • EPA National Estuary Program

More Info

Publish Date: May 25, 2020
Category: Programs
Congressional Districts: Congressional Dist. 6
Counties: Kitsap | Mason | Jefferson
Restoration Focuses: Reduce Pollution | Salmon | Shellfish | Water Quality
Key Benefits: