Thurston County announces completion of major septic to sewer conversion project

Water quality for Woodland Creek, Henderson Inlet expected to improve, officials say

lpemberton@theolympian.comNovember 14, 2013 

Thurston County Public Works officials say they have reached a “significant milestone” to improve water quality in Woodland Creek and Henderson Inlet thanks to a recent septic to sewer conversion project.

According to a county news release, the project changed 128 homes in Woodland Creek Estates and the adjoining Covington Place subdivision from septic to public sewer.

The project, which included an installation of about two and a half miles of sewer main, was a collaboration of several agencies including Thurston County Environmental Health and Public Works and the state Departments of Ecology and Commerce. 

“We are especially grateful to the city of Lacey and LOTT (Clean Water Alliance) for helping to keep the cost of sewer connections down,” county Board of Health chair Karen Valenzuela said in the news release. “All of the financial and technical assistance helped make the project a real success.”

The project received about $5.7 million in grants and loans obtained through the state Department of Ecology and Department of Commerce. It was completed on time and under budget with a final cost of about $4.8 million, according to engineering project manager Scott Lindblom. 

In addition, enough savings were found to pay the entire cost of sewer hookups for the affected property owners, an estimated value of $6,500 per hookup, he said. 

A 2006 study showed that aging and failing septic systems in the two subdivisions contributed to nitrate and fecal contamination that threatened Woodland Creek and Henderson Inlet, according to the news release.

For more information about the project, go to

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