Bainbridge Island

Jan 4, 2020, Kitsap Sun

250,000 gallons of effluent flows into Puget Sound from Bainbridge Island treatment plant

“About 250,000 gallons of partially treated effluent was sent into Puget Sound from Bainbridge Island’s wastewater treatment plant over the weekend after heavy rainfall temporarily overwhelmed the facility’s capacity.”

“The overflow is the second such dump into the Eagle Harbor vicinity in about a week’s time.”

The city said that between 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, the partially treated water was sent out through the facility’s outfall to Puget Sound east of Wing Point after heavy rains “exceeded the plant’s capability to fully treat the wastewater.”

Ready to purchase a subscription to any Puget Sound area newspaper that will show initiative and curiosity in asking questions.

“City staff stopped the discharge by reconfiguring the plant to increase capacity,” the city said in a news release. “An on-call staff technician became aware of the incident through an alarm on the system.”

Should alarm threshold be set to allow preventive action to take place before a spill occurs?

Was this weather event predicted?


On Twitter:

Kitsap Sun,

Can you help us to understand how/why stormwater is routed to the facility that treats water from toilet flushing?

In both Anacortes and Oak Harbor, we are told that stormwater is separate from what is treated at the plant.


Answer from Ecology – Northwest Region:

Most sanitary sewers are separate from stormwater drains. But, in heavy rains, “infiltration” can add flow to sanitary mains. This can be thru joints in mains, or older side sewers that include roof gutter runoff. 1/2

It looks like spending on a new and modern treatment plant may not eliminate weak links if stormwater somehow finds a way to enter the lines that move toilet flush water to the treatment facility.

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.”

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.”


City of Anacortes:

Storm drains discharge directly into the surrounding waters, they do not lead to the wastewater treatment plant.”

City of Oak Harbor:

Storm Drain

This “surface” water is separate from that which enters the sanitary sewer and is treated by the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.”

City of Bainbridge Island:

Not seeing stormwater routed to the treatment facility here:

Stormwater Management Program


Port Angeles

January 3, 2021 Peninsula Daily News

Port Angeles sewage overflow under scrutiny

“The state Department of Ecology is reviewing the city’s Dec. 21 rainfall-swollen overflow of 1.5 million gallons of untreated sewage and stormwater runoff into Port Angeles Harbor.”

“The deluge, which overloaded the city’s 4-year-old, $46 million combined sewer overflow (CSO) system and inundated the region, appears to have “overwhelmed the system as it was designed,” Steve Ogle, Ecology’s lead engineer for municipal operations for the southwest office, said Wednesday.”

“It was Port Angeles’ second combined sewer overflow in 2020; the first two since the costliest public works project in the city’s history was completed in 2016.”


Over on Whidbey Island

Image above: 1/6/2021

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.


Oak Harbor

November 6, 2020 Whidbey News-Times

Sound Off | Negotiations with Navy over connecting to sewer have ceased

“This facility is built to last the next 50 years while putting high-quality water back into the Puget Sound.”

“The high cost of this facility comes from the Washington State Department of Ecology and its requirement regarding the removal of nutrients to stringent levels in order to protect endangered marine life in our Puget Sound.”


Oak Harbor City Park

“Clams, mussels and oysters CLOSED year-round.”

“Washington Department of Health (DOH) cautions that clams, oysters, and mussels from this beach are not fit for human consumption at any time.”

“This beach is within the closure area for a sewage treatment plant outfall and is unsafe for recreational shellfish harvesting.”

Source: WDFW


Over at Penn Cove – Please see image above

Coupeville – just west of Captain Thomas Coupe Park

“Clams, mussels and oysters CLOSED year-round.”

“This beach is within the closure area for a sewage treatment plant outfall and is unsafe for recreational shellfish harvesting.”

Source: WDFW


North side of Penn Cove at Monroe Landing

“Clams, mussels and oysters CLOSED year-round.”

“This beach is within the closure area for a sewage treatment plant outfall and is unsafe for recreational shellfish harvesting.”

Source: WDFW


Living on an Island near Puget Sound, there seems to be great concern for salmon, orca, eagles, recreational shellfish and clean water.

Underreported news stories are curious.

Maybe the press should be better about asking questions if they are going to line up for federal bailout cash.

Has anyone ever seen the Puget Sound area press ask questions about Whidbey water quality impacted by sewage treatment plant outfalls?

Has anyone ever seen any government agency, elected official or volunteer organization seeking answers related to one or more sewage treatment plants sending unsafe product into the waters near Whidbey Island?


We are told that stewardship is a priority:

Sign below educates the public on local waters.

Saratoga Passage Marine Stewardship Area

Has there ever been a news story to inform the public on the Saratoga Passage Marine Stewardship Area?

Looks like a significant area.


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?



Anacortes – Stormwater is Rainwater

Various Versions of Hometown Pride

High Quality Water For Puget Sound? – Recreational Shellfish Harvesting CLOSED Year-Round

Podcast 8 Senator Cantwell and the local press

The Press Is Weak – Newspaper Revenue Down Compared To 20 Years Ago

Not Climate Change

Anacortes – Stormwater is Rainwater

Whidbey Island Toilet Flush or Rain Water?

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

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

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


Don’t miss our companion blog-found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter:




Image at top of page:

City of Anacortes, WA

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

The City of Anacortes, WA has prepared an explanation of their Storm Drainage System.

View it here.