Kitsap County Health District is launching a pollution identification and correction (PIC) project to track down bacterial pollution in Port Orchard Passage, the waterway between Bainbridge Island and Illahee.
A public meeting to discuss the project will take place Thursday at Bainbridge Island Commons. A later meeting is being planned for the Illahee-Brownsville side of the water, said Richard Bazzell, who is managing the project for the health district.
The PIC project comes in response to a 148-acre shellfish closure near Bainbridge Island in 2009. Failing septic systems along with animal waste are suspected sources of the pollution, Bazzell said.
Bacterial testing is designed to trace pollution to its sources in both wet and dry weather from April until the end of 2012, Bazzell said. The focus areas on Bainbridge Island will be from the Agate Passage Bridge to Ralston Road and from Baker Hill Road to the south end of Crystal Springs Drive.
The focus area for the mainland side of the water is from University Point to Illahee State Park.
The project is funded with a $118,000 grant from the Washington Department of Ecology. The local match is $25,000 from the city of Bainbridge Island, $8,600 from the Kitsap County Surface and Stormwater Management Program, and $6,000 in assistance from the Puget Sound Restoration Fund.