Toxic algae outbreaks continue to be a worsening issue not only for OHOP LAKE, but in other Pierce County lakes. This brochure from the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department helps to explain the problem.
We should all educate ourselves as to how we can do our part in decreasing the nutrients that contribute to this problem. Everyone needs to be aware of the ways in which they may be contributing to the problem:
Not everyone is on the Ohop Lake email list, so please check with your neighbors to make sure they know about this issue and aren't contributing to the problem.
Lake treatment plans
Aqua Technex was used for our latest treatment. Click here for their suggested Plant Management Plan.
We perform two water quality tests twice a year, usually in the spring and fall at the two deepest GPS points on the lake and four times a year on the stream flowing in to the north end of the lake. These are through the Pierce County Conservation Corps Stream Team monitoring program. We measure the temperature, water clarity, and dissolved oxygen at both and nitrates on the stream. Additionally, the Nisqually Land Trust also does fall and spring water testing, same tests, on Lynch Creek coming into Ohop Lake on the south end by Ski Park Road with local 4th graders. This has been going on for about 27 years. All of the water testing sites throughout the Nisqually River Basin then share their annual results at a Green Congress each spring.
Considering Septic, Outhouse, Gray Water Drainage?
If a property on Ohop Lake (Pierce County) changes legal owners an existing septic tank must be pumped and inspected along with the drain field. Results of the inspection are passed on to the Pierce County Health Department for final determination. Existing septic tanks on Ohop Lake are grandfathered in as long as they pass a visual inspection and are operating properly during normal servicing. Anti-Bacterial soap, powdered detergents, bleach, medicines, particularly antibiotics should never be introduced into a septic system on Ohop Lake. They will kill the good bacteria in a septic system and eventually find their way into the lake.
Should the cost of a septic system be cost prohibitive a property owner can install a holding tank, usually the 1200 gallon variety. As with a septic tank a holding tank would collect all waste up to and including gray water. Installation costs run about $5000.00 which includes permits, labor, hook-ups and holding tank. Property would need to be backhoe accessible. Full-time family usage would require weekly to semi-monthly service.
On those properties with ancient outhouse facilities, a simple solution is a Honey Bucket. Honey Buckets can be leased ($115.00 per month including monthly service) or they can be purchased outright for about $250.00 and be serviced on an as needed basis (about $65.00).
Property owners wishing to install septic systems and or holding tanks may be able to get financing through Craft 3 Loans (information available on the website) and in some cases the Pierce County Housing Authority.
WATER QUALITY COMMITTEE
Do you have an interest in water quality testing or the health of Ohop Lake? Please consider getting involved and joining our Water Quality Committee.
Water Quality Committee
Chair: Michelle Cornwell
Contact: 253-298-2375 or firstname.lastname@example.org
OUTDATED SEPTIC SYSTEM?
Did you know there are loans available for replacing outdated septic systems? Clean water loans are available through Craft3. Septic systems must be at least 25 yrs old and have evidence of failing in order to be eligible. For more information: