Heavy rains have caused a combined-sewage-overflow (CSO) in Port Angeles, meaning that both raw sewage and stormwater are running untreated into the Harbor. And, because of the tidal conditions, the water is not flushing out into the Sound. As a result, the BEACH program has issued a warning advising against contact with waters in Port Angeles Harbor for at least 48 hours following rainfall. This includes Hollywood Beach, which is close to two of four overflowing CSO pipes. In addition to the health risks of raw sewage, stormwater has devastating effects on marine life and is the largest obstacle to recovering Puget Sound to health. Right now, the WA State Legislature is debating a bill (HB1614) that would raise $120 million to put people to work building stormwater infrastructure -- making improvements to systems like the one in Port Angeles. If you haven't already, please call your legislators and ask them to support HB1614 Working for Clean Water legislation: 1-800-562-6000.
To learn more about the bill, go to Washington Environmental Priorities website.