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Water Restoration Field Trip

August 14, 2019

The eight watershed restoration enhancement committees, created by Hirst legislation were directed by the legislature to come up with a list of projects to offset future water use from household wells.

In Kitsap county, a group of stakeholders including BIAW staff, Josie Cummings visited the Kitsap Conservation District, Clear Creek Restoration Project, and Kitsap PUD’s Port Gamble Resource Recovery Facility. This field trip was a great way to see what kind of shovel ready projects can be used to help streamflow, fish habitat, and conserve water instead of focusing on added regulatory burdens for businesses and landowners.

At the Kitsap Conservation District facility, they have examples of how to implement optional low impact development standards at home. They have a rain garden (rain gardens store and filter water that flows off of hard surfaces, like roofs and roads) and a water catchment system that stores nearly 50,000 gallons onsite. The water catchment system consists of recycled water for their large garden and indoor toilet use.

At the Clear Creek Restoration site, they have created a great project where a creek, its surrounding vegetation, and fish spawning have been restored. Members of that community can enjoy this restoration project by strolling through its miles of walking and bike paths.

The last stop of the field trip was to Port Gamble’s Resource Recovery Facility. This wastewater-treatment facility is a new state-of-the-art membrane bio-reactor plant, which treats wastewater to a high enough degree that it is reused for other purposes. It technically meets all safe drinking water tests, but currently, that treated water returns to the groundwater and streamflow system, but other reuse purposes will likely be considered in the future. No longer is treated wastewater discharged into Hood Canal, thus reopening 90 acres of shellfish beds. This facility was a great example of how technology and industry can be used as a benefit for our environment and resources and can accommodate a lot of future growth. This field trip was educational and will help the committee as they look forward to submitting a list of water projects to the Department of Ecology in 2021.

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