Onsite Systems Not Responsible for Washington State Fish Kills

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A report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington Department of Ecology found that nitrogen from onsite systems was insignificant in contributing to low-oxygen events that kill fish in Hood Canal in Washington State. The findings said stricter pollution limits are not warranted. The agencies and outside experts also concluded the evidence was not strong enough to link human activity to oxygen problems. According to the report, the geography of the canal and ocean conditions were the overwhelming causes of massive fish kills.


The Grand Traverse County Board of Public Works agreed in October to an annual levy of $25 for all properties that have septic tanks, subject to public hearings and further approval. The proceeds would fund the county septage treatment plant, which has been losing money since it opened in 2005.


The state Department of Environmental Health has made its Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules available for e-readers and tablets. Files can be downloaded for Kindle, Nook and other devices that can read .epub or Adobe PDF files. The files are available from the website of the Maine Subsurface Wastewater Unit.



The Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association is exploring a program to certify septic system inspectors and maintainers. The first step was to review various sources to develop a state-specific checklist of items to include in an adequate inspection. They reviewed material from other states and the National Association of Wastewater Technicians. The program would be designed to match the standard ordinance developed by the Indiana Environmental Health Association and provided to counties as a guideline.

Once the program design is complete, IOWPA plans to develop training and testing.


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