Banner Environmental Health: Preventing pollution, reducing human exposure to environmental hazards, and ensuring safe and clean drinking water.

HOW WE WORK

Our Pollution Identification & Correction Program (PIC) program has been the heart of our water quality efforts since it started in 1993. It is nationally recognized for being innovative and effective. We coordinate our efforts with the Kitsap County Department of Public Works and its Surface and Storm Water Management Program, whose mission is to protect people, property, and the environment by addressing flooding and water pollution. We use standard procedures for doing our PIC work, as outlined in the PIC Protocol Manual.

LOOKING FOR TRENDS

We start with the big picture by monitoring long-term quality trends for Kitsap County’s marine (salt) waters, lakes and streams (known as surface waters). All Kitsap streams run into the Puget Sound or Hood Canal, so, if the streams are polluted, they can impact marine waters. Our streams are relatively small, so signs of pollution appear early, and damage occurs more quickly.

EARLY WARNINGS

Surface water quality gives us an early warning that development, land uses, and other human activities are beginning to harm the public’s health, our shellfish resources, and the environment.

Our primary sources of pollution are:

  • Failing septic and sewer systems;
  • Faulty stormwater systems;
  • Pet and livestock waste;
  • Runoff from farms.

ADDRESSING POLLUTION

Each year our PIC team uses our monitoring data to prioritize a list of the waterways that are the most polluted. Working through this list, they investigate to find the source of the pollution. When they locate the source, they work with property owners to eliminate it.

WATER QUALITY REPORTS

We publish reports about our ongoing efforts to improve water quality, as well as the current priority list of polluted areas we are working on and results for areas we have already improved.


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