Freshwater streams in "poor shape"

Much of the the water in Kitsap County’s streams does not meet quality standards, and many of the streams won’t get any better without a major event that changes the characteristics of the surrounding land, a study suggests.

“While the local marine water is in pretty good shape, many of the freshwater streams are in relatively poor shape,” said environmental health specialist John Kiess. “And some of them will never improve unless there is an update of septic infrastructure and a radical change in the land use around the stream.”

The Kitsap County Health District, in partnership with the Kitsap County Surface and Storm Water Management Program, last week released the 2004 Water Quality Monitoring Report. The report summarizes the district’s stream, lake, and marine water quality monitoring data for the 2004 water year (Oct. 1, 2003 through Sept. 30, 2004).

Organized by watershed, the report discusses fecal coliform bacteria, dissolved oxygen, pH, and temperature data for 54 streams and 67 marine water stations throughout Kitsap County.

Fecal coliform bacteria are used as an indicator of the presence of pathogens that can make people sick.

The cause of pollution varies from one stream to another; one may be in proximity to a farm while another may be close

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