Port Hadlock Wastewater System Design

In March, 2009, The County incorporated a Sewer Facility Plan into its Comprehensive Plan in partial fulfillment of required planning by the State Growth Management Act (GMA) and State sewer utility rules for counties. One of the GMA requirements is to make t fundamental urban services available throughout the Irondale & Port Hadlock Urban Growth Area (UGA), which was officially designated by the County in December, 2002, and followed up by an adoption of additional UGA planning and development regulations in 2004. The next phase of wastewater system design development now is underway – a consultant team has been selected and is moving forward with the preliminary design of the treatment plant and influent pump station.

Input from the community was instrumental in developing the Sewer Facility Plan and it will continue to be important during the wastewater system design phase. The County’s Department of Community Development is convening a Sewer Advisory Group made up of interested individuals from a broad range of community interests from around the Irondale/Port Hadlock area. The Sewer Advisory Group will offer participants an opportunity to provide stakeholder perspectives on key policy and technical issues related to wastewater system design, public involvement approaches, and funding and financing strategies. The Sewer Advisory Group will be one element of a larger, on-going public involvement effort.

As part of its commitment to reduce costs to the community, the County has already begun applying for grant funding for which the sewer project is eligible. In January 2008 the County was notified that it had beenselected to receive $197,797 in grant funding for the preliminary design of the Port Hadlock UGA sewer system from the State Department of Ecology’s Reclaimed Water Grants Program. This award will be applied to the estimated $1.2 million needed for preliminary design.

Project Background

In response to the 1990 Growth Management Act (GMA), Jefferson County pursued the designation of an Urban Growth Area (UGA) in the Irondale/Port Hadlock area. As part of the requirements for establishing a UGA, Jefferson County prepared a Sewer Facility Plan that identifies:

  1. The final preferred alternative or method of collection, treatment, and disposal/reuse of wastewater,
  2. The service area,
  3. The phasing of implementation of sewers throughout the service area,
  4. The estimated cost for individual connections to sewer, and
  5. Financing strategy and revenue sources.

The Sewer Facility Plan fulfills the GMA requirements to make sanitary sewer service available throughout the new UGA over the 20-year planning period and shows a defined funding mechanism for sewer service within the next six years for areas where commercial and residential development is allowed at urban densities.

The County’s goals for building a wastewater treatment system include supporting commercial growth and affordable housing in the Irondale/Port Hadlock UGA, helping to protect water quality, and providing flow augmentation in Chimacum Creek. The County will continue to actively pursue grant funding, low-interest loans, and other funding mechanisms through programs described in the Sewer Facility Plan.

In late 2008 the Washington State Departments of Health and Ecology provided final approval of the Sewer Facility Plan as an Engineering Report. DOE and DOH approval are required by state law before final design and construction of the facilities can begin. A Sewer Facility Plan approved by DOE and DOH makes the project eligible for a variety of funding programs.

On January 27, 2009 a Sewer Review Committee made up of representatives from local governments and municipalities met to review the Sewer Facility Plan as required by state law.  The Sewer Review Committee recommended the plan’s adoption by the Board of County Commissioners.

On March 23, 2009 the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners approved an ordinance adopting the Sewer Facility Plan as an element of the County’s Comprehensive Plan. With the adoption of the Sewer Facility Plan, the County is now moving forward on wastewater system design

Related Efforts

As the project team designs a wastewater system, they will continue to consider any interrelationships with other planning efforts, such as the Quilcene – Snow Watershed Resource Inventory Area (WRIA 17) and water supply planning by Jefferson County PUD #1. The project team recognizes that existing septic systems provide groundwater recharge, which may in turn feed Chimacum Creek and contribute to the area’s water supply. The wastewater system design must support the goals of those planning efforts.