2006 Oxygen video Hood Canal from other post

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by South Sound, May 20, 2008.

  1. South Sound

    South Sound Member

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    In the Alderbrook post we were talking about the O2 levels. This was interesting to me at least to see the fish panting at 20 feet. I know we talked about his before, but I would say we are now seeing the effects of this up the food chain. This has impacted the searun population on Hood Canal. It is not the only factor by any means. Harvesting by locals that do not care or know the rules, netting at least the 20 plus inch fish, and mainly environmental degredation.

    http://wdfw.wa.gov/hab/hood_canal_oxygen.htm
     
  2. Dale Dennis

    Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

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    Thanks for sharing South Sound, I have seen this video and it is very disturbing to see my play ground for over 40 years dying in front of my eyes and I have noticed the changes during that time. Again, we are destroying what we love by over developing its shorelines. I attended a seminar a couple of years ago with several agencies involved that are trying to come up with a solution to the Canals abundant poor septic systems which is suspect in the Canals demise.
     
  3. Cruncher

    Cruncher -

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    Very disturbing and sad.
     
  4. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Thanks for the link, and the link i found there to The Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership. I clicked on "Publications" on their menu and found a wealth of great info.

    Any septic system that isn't functioning well should be either fixed or replaced. All those systems on the Hood Canal should be inspected, and proper action taken. A daunting task, no doubt.

    A few years ago, I checked my septic system and found it to be very old and on the verge of failure. Not only that, its location was in violation of current building codes. I had uncovered a "can of worms" for sure.:beathead: I realized the inevitable: if i was ever going to improve or sell my property, first off, I would have to plan on installing a new septic system.

    Between my property and a cranberry bog is a swath of "seasonal wetland" that borders a drainage ditch, and this year-round ditch drains into the Elk River Estuary, which is not far away. I know a spot or two of fine cutthroat water in the vastness of the Elk, and I plan to spend more time there.
    My failing drainfield was only 50 feet away from this ditch. This, of course, was even a more important reason to get a new septic system asap. However, I was going to put a new house on the property, anyway, so I am no environmental hero.

    The project is done, except for some finishing touches (outdoor lighting/security system, more blueberries, etc) and I'm fishing more again.
     
  5. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    Yeah, it's time (long ago) to put a sewer line on the North Shore and South Shore of Hood Canal. These are the culprits, but I mostly blame this on the weak County government and enforcing the health/septic rules years ago in Mason County. Good ole boys.....
     
  6. South Sound

    South Sound Member

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    We need a sewer line more than ever on both shores. We also need to work on the Skoke dam, and forestry fertization issues.
     
  7. Nick Andrews

    Nick Andrews New Member

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    A sewer line on both sides would be ideal, though the question then becomes who will pay for the sewer line, my guess is no one is going to be jumping to the front of that line anytime soon. Additionally, as long as the country is in economic turmoil, the first governmental discretionary spending to be cut will be environmental projects. Though the other option is to force the residents to put new septic systems in, septic systems which are set back from the Canal. I also do not see that happening anytime soon, as I am sure the those that live on the Canal are not going to make such investments that are not required as they are costly.
    What would be a viable solution is federal grants combined with states funds to subsidize septic replacement along the whole canal and the cost is allocated to across the board.
     
  8. Matthew Gulbranson

    Matthew Gulbranson Resident Swinger

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    That video is really disturbing. I really hope our local agencies and goverments can get it together in time. It's really hard to hear when they put a dollar amount on what can and can't be done. When it's gone, there will be no dollars that will be able to account for the loss of such a beautiful and special place.
     
  9. Nick Andrews

    Nick Andrews New Member

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    It is easy to put a dollar amount on the environment, we do it all the time. If our government is not going to properly fund transportation, schools and social services why does anyone think that the government is going to properly fund cleaning up the Hood Canal. The residents and sportsman that use the Hood Canal are going to need to put up the dollars to get some progress.
     
  10. flytyerboy95

    flytyerboy95 Future fly fishing guide

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    why would we need a sewer line????
     
  11. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

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    ftb-
    The sewer line would gather the sewage from all of the houses around the Hood Canal and deliver it to a treatment plant. As it stands now, each house has a septic system, from which the sewage drains slowly into the soil surrounding the septic tank. Failing old systems, or too many new systems result in an excess of nutrient rich sewage reaching the Hood Canal, which triggers the series of events that leads to the O2 depletion. The result: death by a thousands small wounds.
    D
     
  12. Nick Andrews

    Nick Andrews New Member

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    That about sums it up!
     
  13. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    When I had a talk with the Grays Harbor County Sanitary Engineer who inspected my property and approved the siting of my septic system, he said that he would like to see a sewer system replace all the septic tanks in the Grayland area, but he didn't think it would happen in his lifetime.
    The situation on the Hood Canal is getting critical. Here on the coast it isn't as bad.
     
  14. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    It takes a LID (Local Improvement District) or something on that order PLUS other funds. Under an Improvement District, the owners are required to PAY. It mostly takes guts from the local politicians to get it going. They, I think, generally take it out of your yearly taxes over probably something like 20 years or whatever. I don't know all the details, but something like that I believe.
     
  15. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

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    Since sometime in the '70s it seems like politicians have not had the will to pursue large-scale public works that are good for the environment (and society). Here in western Washington, this is probably best exemplified by the founding of Metro and the cleaning up of Lake Washington. The situation was directly analogous to that of the Hood Canal today, too many septic tanks draining directly into the Lake. Bipartisan support among politicians and the willingness to pay for the necessary cost made that effort the success that it was and made Lake Washington as clean as it is today (before the cleanup, it was unsafe to swim in the lake).

    One can probably trace that loss of will to the Reagan administration and his slogan that "people know better how to spend their money than the government does." Of course, the "people" will never undertake communal projects of the scale that are needed to provide the environmental safeguards we need. The legacy of that era remains today with taxes for public projects being perceived as the quick road to NOT getting re-elected prevents politicians from doing the right thing for the environment. Most politicians, after all, are more concerned about getting re-elected than they are about doing what's right for society.

    Please, before anyone gets their panties in a bunch about this being an anti-Republican rant, remember that many of our most important environmental laws were enacted during the Nixon administration and had bipartisan support. I honestly don't know why there isn't bipartisan support for such public works projects today. To me, it is a sad commentary on the state of our society today.
    D
     
  16. Dale Dennis

    Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

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    Having dealt with this issue in a major city for a governed municipality I’ll just say 90% of those who have septic systems do not have adequate space to install a new drain field. Way back in time when the Canal was healthy there were fewer “summer cabins” and the septic systems that were built were probably adequate for there size. Now, those once one, two, three room summer cabins are year round 3 bedroom + home and many with the same system that was built up to 40 years ago. We may also find in the more remote areas a direct line running into the Canal.
    There are a couple things, ($ provided) that can be done that come to mind and some may be out of the box so to speak.

    1. Inspect and document every system on the Canal (the daunting task). Subsidized by the DOE.
    2. Those that are deemed failing must have first priority for the following.
    a. For properties that have the space and are found with a failing system should be mandated to reinstate there system within 3 months or be subject to a fine each day after.
    b. For most shoreline communities a satellite vault system could be installed that would capture surrounding systems that cannot be reinstated. Again subsidized by the State either through a Local Improvement District (LID) and paid through property taxes or through a recapture fee (their share of the fee is paid back when the property is sold/bought). Of course there will also have to be an annual fee for maintenance and operation of the vault system.

    I know there are agencies working on a possible solution as we speak, how long it will take to begin the healing process is up to Olympia and how much they are willing to spend to correct this dire situation.
    Unfortunately this is the price you pay for living in this special place, one of the largest fjords on the west cost and I for one don’t want to be associated with a west coast dead Fjord.
     
  17. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    iagree

    Well said Richard. I was thinking of Lake Washington also.
     
  18. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    This is true, and a good assessment of what needs to be done.

    I had to locate my new drainfield in my front yard near the street, in order to get it at least 100 feet away from surface water. Just squeezed it in.
     
  19. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Before the Metro project was completed, I saw something that would make anybody gag. A pal and I were fishing on the dock at Meydenbauer park in Bellevue, Spring of 1963, and i heard a toilet flush in the house up on the high bank immediately to the south (toward downtown) of the park. I looked that way, and saw something bubbling up near shore, INSIDE of the area that was roped off for beginning swimmers during the summer months. I looked closer and it was turds and toilet paper...a direct pipe from the toilet to the swimming area!!!! :eek::eek::eek:
    I got on the phone as soon as I got home and called the authorities!
     
  20. John B

    John B just tryin' to keep the skunk off

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    This issue gets a little bit of attention in the Seattle Times today. A three year study points to leaking septic tanks as being a major contributor (duh.) to the nitrogen seepage and low oxygen levels in the south canal during summer months.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008025719_webhoodcanal30m.html

    Thought this was interesting:
    "...when oxygen levels fall below 2 milligrams in a liter of water, rockfish start moving to avoid the water. When it falls below .7 milligrams, it can kill the fish. Humans can cause as much as a 1 milligram drop in the lower Hood Canal during the summer, the scientists found."
     

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