Image above: 9/26/2020

Source: Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Safety Map

Click image to enlarge.

Several Whidbey beaches remain closed all year long for recreational shellfish harvest because of sewage treatment outfall.

Sewage treatment outfall. Not stormwater.

Reporting on this topic appears to be completely off limits to the press.

View the Washington State Department of Health beach list here.


September 25, 2020 Whidbey News-Times

Sewage plant continues to be money suck

“The City of Oak Harbor will need to sink hundreds of thousands of dollars more into its $150-million sewage treatment plant after a rainstorm and regular use exposed design issues.”

“One proposed fix is to prevent another overflow event like the one that happened in early February of this year. Heavy rainfall exceeded the capacity of the city’s treatment plant. A manhole cover exploded and water flooded several homes and about a million gallons of untreated sewage was dumped into Puget Sound.”

“To avoid a repeat of the incident in the future, staff recommended the city buy more membrane units to increase capacity. The plant is a membrane bioreactor that uses submerged membrane units for advanced filtration. The extra membranes would cost more than $550,000.”

“Asked why the capacity wasn’t already built into the design, Arvidson again reiterated that February’s rainstorm was unexpected.”


How is adding more membrane filtration units at the plant going to prevent rainwater from getting into the sewage lines through cross connections between sewer and stormwater pipes?

Is rainwater getting into toilet flushing/sewage lines?

Is product from toilet flushing getting into lines that remove stormwater runoff from city streets?


February 7, 2020 South Whidbey Record

Excess rain causes sewage discharges on Whidbey

Oak Harbor

A manhole cover shot into the air and sewage poured out onto a city street in Oak Harbor Wednesday night. Untreated sewage is being pumped into the city’s harbor because the new treatment plant can’t keep up with a huge increase in the flow.”

Penn Cove

In Central Whidbey, about 25,000 gallons of “fine solids” from a sewage treatment plant spilled into Penn Cove due to flooding.


“Oak Harbor declared an emergency water use restriction Thursday for commercial and residential water users in hopes of reducing the amount of water going to the sewage treatment plant.”

The Washington State Department of Health closed shellfish harvesting in the area.”

It’s closed all 12 months of the year guys. That’s the point of this blog.

“Bridges said rainwater is likely getting into the sewage lines through cross connections between sewer and stormwater pipes — which is a byproduct of days gone by when the two systems were connected — and through cracks in pipes.”

“…a surge in a sewage trunk line caused a manhole to shoot in the air on Ely Street at about 10 p.m. Wednesday.”


City of Anacortes, WA

Storm drains on the street are marked with reminders to keep pollutants out of the salt water:

In Coupeville and Oak Harbor, do storm drains route to the sewer treatment plant or do they route to the salt water?

Distance learning idea:

Podcast 4 Another Month With An R – Whidbey Sewage Treatment Plant Outfalls

Whidbey Waters – Mixed Signals of Concern


March 13, 2020 Whidbey News-Times

4th grade students publish book on Salish Sea

“Invisible Pollution in the Salish Sea”

School teachers,

Are you teaching your students to look for green colors on the Recreational Shellfish Safety Map?



“…talking to officials at the Town of Coupeville…”

Green colors show safe places for recreational shellfish

4 Stories The Puget Sound Press Will Not Question Or Report On

Whidbey Signs of Water Quality

Whidbey Earth Day

When Things Get Back To Normal

Ready To Purchase A Subscription – Whidbey Water Quality

I will purchase a subscription to any Puget Sound area newspaper working to inform us on Whidbey water quality impacted by sewage treatment plant outfalls.

Ready to Support Local News on Whidbey Island

It looks like both Whidbey papers have stripped away all comments from past articles, and removed the opportunity to post comments to new articles.

I’d be more interested in paying (again) for a local paper subscription if there was more in the way of newspeople asking questions.

Elimination of reader comments works against the idea of paying for an online subscription.

Manage it, don’t ban it. Online comment sections


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