Water Quality Improvement Project
Sinclair/Dyes Inlets Water Quality Improvement Project
WA Department of Ecology is working with Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency under a partnership called ENVVEST (short for
“Environmental Investment”) to address water quality problems in Sinclair and
Water quality issues
Sinclair Inlet and Dyes Inlet were listed on the 1998 303(d) list of
impaired waters because of
fecal coliform contamination in the
marine waters and metals and other contaminants in bottom sediments. In
addition, a number of creeks that discharge to these inlets were listed for
fecal coliform contamination. To address all the contamination issues using
a watershed approach, a partnership was established between Department of
Ecology as the state agency that establishes
TMDLs (Water Cleanup Plans), the
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and
Environmental Protection Agency
working together on Project ENVVEST (an acronym for ENVironmental InVESTment).
The three agencies agreed to tackle fecal coliform bacteria as the initial
water quality problem that required a Water Cleanup Plan. Through the use of
models that take into account the dynamic nature of the marine inlets and
the multiple sources of fecal coliform bacteria from the surrounding
watershed, the project will provide regulators with a determination of the
inputs that represent the major sources of fecal coliform bacteria and
enable them to develop a plan for reducing these inputs.
The study area for the Sinclair/Dyes Inlets fecal coliform Water Cleanup
Plan includes the marine waters of Sinclair and Dyes Inlets and their
surrounding watersheds (see
area map). Land uses in the watershed include urban, suburban, rural
residential, small hobby farms and some undeveloped land. Based on these
land uses, the major sources of fecal coliform bacteria are expected to be:
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
& Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton developed
an integrated model to assess fate and transport of bacteria
to marine waters.
- Human sources
- Stormwater, when heavy rainfall causes overflows of untreated sewage in
combined sewer – stormwater facilities
- Leaks in the sanitary sewer system
- Illegal sanitary connections to storm drains
- Failing septic systems or poorly operated package systems
- Non-human sources
- Urban areas: Pets and urban wildlife (rats, raccoons, pigeons, gulls)
- Rural areas: Cattle, horses, poultry and wildlife (beaver, deer,
July 5, 2012
On April 17, 2012 Ecology submitted the finalized water quality improvement
report to EPA for approval. EPA approved the report on July 5, 2012.
August 4, 2011
Once Ecology responds to comments received, we will send the finalized water
quality improvement report and implementation plan to EPA for approval.
June 24, 2011: Draft TMDL available for public review and comment
Ecology invited public comment on the study and plan, which is titled
Sinclair and Dyes Inlets Fecal Coliform Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load:
TMDL and Water Quality Implementation Plan” through August 1, 2011. Ecology
also hosted two public meetings on the TMDL: July 20 and 21,
2011. Ecology and other officials were available to answer questions.
February 17, 2011 TMDL Local Review Meeting
Complete the stormwater sampling for Sinclair and Dyes Inlets.
Stormwater sampling involves a great deal of weather report watching and
tight coordination among the project managers, sampling teams, and Ecology’s
Manchester Laboratory, which analyzes the samples. Two more storm events
will be sampled in fall 2004. The full storm data set will include both
quantity and quality of the stormwater. These data will be of both regional
and national interest because very few studies across the nation have
measured the flow (quantity) of stormwater, in addition to quality, through
a storm event.
Complete the testing of the two models – the freshwater model that
takes rainfall, runs it over the pervious and impervious land surfaces of
the Sinclair and Dyes watersheds, and calculates resulting stream and
stormwater flow into the two inlets—and the marine model that receives the
flow and fecal coliform outputs of the freshwater model, takes into account
tides, time of year and other factors, and calculates fecal coliform
concentrations over all parts of the two inlets.
2005 - Once the models are run and the results indicate the most
important freshwater sources of bacteria to the marine waters, Ecology will
work with implementing agencies, PSNS, Tribes, watershed groups and citizens
to develop a plan for eliminating these sources. Already, Ecology has
provided grant funding to Kitsap County Health District for projects to
locate and fix sources of bacteria – including failing septic systems and
potential livestock sources – in several creeks in the Dyes Inlet watershed.
Washington Department of Health reopened a large portion of northern Dyes
Inlet for shellfish harvest. Approximately 1500 acres were reclassified from
prohibited to conditionally approved. This meant that oysters, clams and
other shellfish grown in these waters are now available for direct harvest,
although temporary closures will still be needed when any sewage is
discharged to the Port Washington Narrows.
Working with the Department of Health to accomplish this change were local
citizens, City of Bremerton, Kitsap County Health District, Suquamish Tribe,
Washington Department of Health, and U.S. Navy Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS). An important element assisting
the Department of Health decision was the use of the Navy’s dynamic model of
the inlets to demonstrate the geographic distribution of bacteria from
combined sewer overflows under different storm and tidal conditions.
Representing high quality science and leadership by PSNS and excellent
cooperation among local partners involved in this project was the 2002-2003
water quality sampling program. Both wet season (winter) and dry season
samples were collected, and in addition, storm event sampling was conducted
to assess bacterial inputs during periods of high discharge from creeks and
stormwater outfalls. Marine samples were taken concurrently to develop fecal
coliform datasets for the whole watershed. By combining bacterial
concentration data for each creek or outfall with its discharge rate during
the event, the loading of bacteria from these sources to the marine waters
can be calculated. The relative amount of loading from different sources
will be useful in determining priorities for corrective actions in the Water
Cleanup Plan. The load quantities will be used to calculate how much
reduction is needed from each source, in order for marine waters and creeks
to meet water quality standards.
Fecal coliform is a type of “bacteria” common in human and animal waste. It
can make people sick and cause the closure of shellfish harvesting beds.
Bacteria can get into our waters from untreated or partially treated discharges
from wastewater treatment plants, from improperly functioning septic systems,
and from livestock, pets and wildlife.
People can help keep bacteria out of the water. Properly collect, bag, and
trash dog poop. Check your on-site sewage system to make sure it is maintained
and working properly.
Unless otherwise specified, the following documents are Ecology publications.
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WRIA: #15 (Kitsap)
Mosher, Pahrmann, Barker, Clear, Strawberry, Chico, and Oyster Bay creeks
draining to Dyes Inlet
Wright, Gorst, Anderson, Ross, Blackjack, Annapolis, Karcher, and Sacco creeks
draining to Sinclair Inlet
Enetai, Springbrook, Illahee, and Wautaga creeks draining to Port Orchard
Beaver Creek draining to Rich Passage (Clam Bay). Phinney Creek
Fecal coliform bacteria
# of TMDLs: 22
Approved by EPA
Has an implementation plan
Department of Ecology
3190 - 160th Ave. SE
Bellevue, WA 98008-5452