Ocean Grove Newsletter

 Head’s up on PUD change in water supply. October 8, 2015

I met with Jim Parker on September 30th and raised a question as to the timing and extent of the change from city water to well water for the Hastings Extension, our connection with PUD water.

Next May is the target date for the switch. When I expressed my personal dismay at losing Big Quil (glacier runoff) water and having to deal with the hard water from the well, Parker provided a satisfactory justification for why there is no alternative.

The Big Quil water is the city system and the PUD contracts with them for our supply. The city has been under consistent pressure from the Environmental Protection Agency to remove contaminants—namely giardia lamblia from their water. This will require the city to move their water treatment facility much closer to Port Townsend. The city system uses 25 million gallons a day but 20 million goes to the paper mill and should not be treated, both as a cost savings matter but, also, untreated water is preferred by the mill. Currently, giardia is eliminated with chlorine but the water must be exposed to the chlorine for sufficient time. As an example: The Hastings Extension passes Adelma Beach but they cannot use that water because it hasn’t had sufficient contact. The booster pump on Cape George Road near the golf course is the point at which it becomes safe. (A lot of people who complain about a “light touch of the flu” are often the victims of untreated giardia. Because the Big Quil is an unprotected source, it has a fair amount.)

To cover the cost of their new treatment facility, which will be built much closer to the city, Port Townsend’s water rates will soar astronomically and the new price would have been passed on to the PUD. In addition, new lines would have to have been constructed to bring the water back into the PUD system.

The PUD will treat the well water and remove some of the minerals that create hard water but the reality is that users will be faced with the difficulties of lathering, mineral buildup in toilets, showers, tubs, sinks and, probably most difficult, washing clothes. The well water already goes to many households in the PUD system where those residents have adapted to the change.

Contact me with any questions or concerns. dnasman@outlook.com   360.301.5406

Dan Näsman, Manager

 

August 2015

The minutes of the most recent board meeting are attached and are posted at the Ocean Grove website.

On Sunday, September 6th I will host our annual salmon barbecue and bratwurst party. Plan on joining your neighbors—last year 75 of you showed up—for what is always a very social time. I will ask for confirmation of attendance about September 1st so that I can prepare enough food and buy enough champagne.

I have been asked if the Port Townsend City alternative watering days applies to Ocean Grove. Although our water comes from the Port Townsend city lines through contract with the PUD the restriction does not apply to Ocean Grove, according to manager Jim Parker.

On the subject of water: Be prepared for a let-down in water quality. We have been drinking water from the Big Quilcene River but in the very near future the PUD will switch LUD#3 to well water, which is hard water and will start leaving residue in showers, etc. and will change the effectiveness of washing machines.

It appears that we may be close to an authoritative answer with regard to inspections for owners who are on the community drainfield. As frequently discussed, the state and county regulations are quite onerous for pressurized systems with the requirement for more frequent inspections by licensed inspectors at a cost in the mid-$300 range. Jim Parker is making a final confirmation with the State Health Department, who authorized our system (LUD#5). If all goes according to plan, a PUD employee will do periodic inspections as required. Owners can take training to do interim inspections that will satisfy the county requirements. The projected cost—still to be determined—will be much lower than if you contract with an independent inspector and the intent is to prorate the cost over the three-year inspection period and to add a surcharge for that amount to your monthly bill from the PUD. I should be very modest. One third of the 62 users will be inspected each year. I will create and maintain the records for the inspection cycle.

In all likelihood the County will expect annual inspections in the intervening years. To do that you will have to take the County classes and pass the test. Several owners have already done this. Caveat to the few affected owners who rent out their homes: The authorization for owner testing is given only to owner-residents. You will have to make other arrangements. I’ll try to find a solution for you.

Owners on conventional systems are on their own but the professional inspection requirements have a nine-year interim. By taking the county class you can inspect your own system every three years as required.

Enrollment in one of the following classes is strongly recommended. At the appropriate time I will obtain a Sludge Judge to make inspection easy, well, relatively so.

Schedule of Septics 101: Pre-Registration is Required – call 385-9407 to sign up!

Tuesday, August 18, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Brinnon Sr. Center,

Wednesday, August 19, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Tri-Area Community Center,

Thursday, August 20, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Tri-Area Community Center,

Septics 101 is the first step in the process of applying for Homeowner Authorization to complete most required monitoring inspections of your septic system if the system is eligible for homeowner inspection.

If your system is eligible and you have completed both the 101 and 201 classes, you can apply for authorization to inspect your septic system. Septics 201 will be available on the Jefferson County Public Health Website in September.

 

Attached is a picture of Tansy Ragwort. You received information earlier this year about this noxious weed. The picture was taken at an undeveloped parcel in Ocean Grove. Last year there were about a half-dozen plants. This year they had spread to a considerable area. The Ocean Grove gardener cut down every plant that we found in the community but I expecting that we may have to go to a herbicide to control them. Seeds in the soil remain viable for up to 16 years.

 

June 2015

Time to catch up on a lot of “stuff” as we approach this weekend’s summer solstice.

Salmon and Brat BBQ September 6th: 1:30 PM “One more time” again. This year will be the 13th year of the Ocean Grove residents and owners Labor Day weekend get-together. Mark your calendar and plan on attending. I’ll ask for a confirmation in late August to help me order enough salmon. Last year 75 neighbors showed up and had a great time. Food preparation is easier that it may appear but the volunteers that come in and help me through the final hour make it all possible. Thanks to them. They know who they are.

Web page: The revised Covenants and Bylaws are posted on the Ocean Grove website which should be accessible to all who receive these emails. (That’s 99 of 105 members.) Covenant changes were approved at the annual meeting and the Board updated the Bylaws to incorporate the changes. (The Bylaw changes are also reflected in the accompanying minutes below.)

The Forum has been removed from the website for two reasons: There is obviously very little member use of the bulletin board aspects of the Forum but, much more important, the Forum has had far more non-members (apparently all of Eastern Europe) than members log on. As soon as they log I get a notice and I delete them but the fact that their purpose is unknown suggests that there could be some risks inherent.) In the past, if a member had a specific request or concern—lost cat, asking for recommendations for a gardener, etc—I would post an email to the pertinent members. That can still continue.

Dogs (again): Placement of dog waste bags at five locations (trail head, community garden, RV lot, Myrtle @ Swanson and Adelma Beach) has done a good job of alleviating that blight—However, there are still troubling instances of dog piles from time to time. Either these are because of dog walkers who can’t be bothered to clean up or from unattended dogs that are let out during the dark hours. In any case, neighborly cooperation is requested.

Noxious Weeds: Scotch Broom, Tansy Ragwort, and Poison Hemlock are the mostlikely noxious weeds one will find in Ocean Grove. (I found a 10 foot tall Poison Hemlock in my yard last weekend). Several owners received letters from the county noting the presence of Tansy Ragwort in their yards. Check your yard and remove the culprits, keeping in mind that the poison hemlock is very toxic. A Scotch Broom puller is available behind my house. Feel free to come in a get it. If you stack Scotch Broom by the road, give me a call (301.5406) or email me and Isaac will load it into my truck and I’ll take it to County Yard Waste. It should be removed from the ground within the next few weeks, before the seed pods burst open and disburse several generations of the nuisance. Owners of vacant properties can contact me regarding the prevalence of noxious weed and make arrangements for removal.

Tansy Ragwort                                                         Poison Hemlock

 

Property Sales have really picked up. Within the past few weeks one home with five lots has gone into closing and two unbuilt parcels have sold.  Only two home in Ocean Grove, 92 Myrtle ($275,000) and 284 Myrtle ($359,000), are shown at the Zillow website. It also indicates four unbuilt parcels for sale in Ocean Grove: Cape George near Swanson two lots($135,000); Becker two lots ($79,000; Kruse 3 lots ($70,000); and Combs 2 lots ($38,000).

Fireworks and No Shooting: The County received our request to designate Ocean Grove as a “No Shooting” zone over two months ago. I checked with them a week ago and it is progressing slowly. Because Ocean Grove 3 is separate from the Estates and Ocean Grove 2 they had to handle that differently and will ask the Board of Commissioners to designate it as an administrative action. (There are not enough resident/owners to meet the criteria even though all of them signed the request.) I’m hopeful that it will occur shortly.

Many OG residents reported extensive and loud fireworks late at night about a week ago. I met with the owner in Blue Sky and he understood the concern and was cooperative. Fireworks can be set off only on July 3rd and 4th in Jefferson County. Prudence is the watchword.

Email Address: As soon as I can complete moving the 100 OG email addresses to my Google People directory, I will start using dnasman@outlook.com for Ocean Grove business. Even though I have my Spam filter set high and sweep for unwanted cookies, viruses and malware, I’m getting 50 to 70 pieces of Spam (see below) a day on my Olympus.net account. None on my gmail.com, outlook.com, or yahoo.com so I will probably make a full transfer in the next few months. If you filter, please add my outlook.com address to your permitted mail. Also, your best bet for reaching me by phone is by calling my mobile number—360.301.5406. When I’m working in the garden, shopping or traveling you can reach me right away (usually).