>Culvert Concerns 1-15-11


Status of Culvert?  We have been asked about the status of the Illahee Creek culvert and whether the emergency clean-out by the county a few weeks ago has improved the situation.  For those who are new to these Updates or the Blog site, many think the culvert is in jeopardy and could fail, and those comments can be found earlier reports.
Saturday Measurements.  We measured the clear opening of the culvert on Saturday morning (1/15/11) before the rains and found essentially the same clear opening that was measured before the emergency clean-out.  In other words the emergency clean-out DID NOT decrease the sediment levels at the inlet end of the culvert.  See photo of culvert inlet.

Limited Measurement Opportunities.  We had to wait until there was a break in the rains as the creek water becomes too murky and too dangerous to measure when the stream is flowing full.  For those interested in actual measurements, there was a maximum of 29 inches of clearance before the clean-out, and today the clear measurements varied between 27 and 30 inches, depending where in the stream we took the measurements.

Large Logs Moving Toward The Culvert!  We received an email on Friday, along with some photos, alerting us the the fact that there are several upstream areas where there are large logs that seem to be moving downstream.  We received permission from the upstream property owner and took the attached photos.

What Happens if Logs Block Culvert?  So what will happen if the logs block the culvert?  First of all it will take a large rain to cause these logs to move, and secondly some of them would go through the culvert as the high velocity of the flow in the culvert would tend to move them quickly downstream.  If they should get lodged inside or in front of the culvert, the upstream basin area would quickly fill.  The increased pressure might be enough to force a blockage on through, but if not, the water would back up until it overflows at the lowest point of Illahee Road.  That point is probably just opposite the Krigsman’s driveway and would likely cause a road washout.

Why Report This?  The reason we are reporting this is because first of all it is a safety issued and secondly, something needs to be done to help resolve the storm surges that ravage Illahee Creek.  The storm surges have been polluting Puget Sound with large amounts of sediment for over 40 years and has been a concern for residents and the Port.  It became an even greater concern when everyone realized the relatively new culvert (installed in 1999) was also filling with sediment as the flood plain kept rising.  

Raised Flood Plains.  There is not much anyone can do with a raised flood plain.  Someone forwarded us the City of Issaquah’s Frequently Asked Questions on Flooding, which answers many of the questions Illahee residents have raised about the flood plain issues including dredging.  The link is:  http://www.ci.issaquah.wa.us/Page.asp?NavID=442 and their first sentences regarding dredging are:

Current Federal and State environmental regulations make it extremely difficult to justify stream channel dredging as a means to control flooding. While it can be done, it is very costly and time consuming to propose such work. …..

Time to Admit Culvert Failure.  We think it is time to admit that while the culvert hasn’t actually failed, it has technically failed.  It is time to look at either a significant culvert extension or a bridge for Illahee Creek.  But an extension or bridge would only resolve the threat to Illahee Road, and not the storm surge problem.

Time to Secure Golf Course.  So concurrently with correcting the failed culvert, it is finally time, after over 40 years of this small stream polluting Puget Sound, that the storm surges be brought under control.  The logical place for this to be done is at Rolling Hills Golf Course, so we would urge the county to finish the paper work to secure the golf course, which would be a good first step.

Please Let Us Know Your Thoughts!

Jim Aho

>Some During Storm Pictures – 12/14/10

>Storm Pictures.  We have been asked where the storm pictures are since our last Update had some ‘Before Storm’ pictures.

Non-Water Proof Camera.  We got up early last Sunday morning and took a few stills and some video of the effects of the storm.  We found out that the use of cameras during heavy rain events does not work well for non-water proof camers.  Our camera was sent to the manufacture on Monday in hopes it can be repaired.  Our film maker, Shelly Solomon, did some good photos in the afternoon.  When we walked to the mouth of the creek and were amazed at the number of golf balls that had been washed down the creek and out on the beach.

Some Pictures Were Retrieved.  We got some help retrieving some of the photos from the camera and will look at how to get some of the videos on an Update, or at least linked.  This is a learning process for us.

Illahee Creek Culvert.  The Illahee Creek culvert was running nearly full.  The attached photos show the brown water and the culvert.

Brown Water.  Those who live along the water regularly see brown water coming from the creek anytime there is a rainfall of over an inch in a short period of time.  During major storms the brown water is much more distinctive as shown in the photo from the Illahee community dock.

Phone Calls & Emails.  Thank you for the phone calls regarding the storm and for the emails.  Attached are two that go into some detail.

Ran down to the Illahee culvert about an hour ago and the water is within 12 inches of the top.  The velocity and volume of water is such that no sane person would attempt to cross the creek.  
Wash-out at the top of Oceanview with baseball size rocks in the roadway.  I unplugged 4 catch basins on the upper half.  The water has cut nearly a foot below the blacktop up hill of the debris and I am going to call this into the county immediately.
Found a plugged culvert at the bottom of 3rd Street on the South side of the road.  The results are gravel, and washout debris on Illahee Road.
Took a tour of the stream channel as it appeared after the waters have had a chance to settle down.  The picture presented today shows a culvert which has vastly changed as is as close as it gets to failing.  We were within probably 2 inches of complete failure as the banks of the floodplain took a real beating.  The incised area along the stream showed that we had over 30 inches of water trying to get through the culvert and ended up spilling onto the floodplain.  All it would have taken was for one of these logs to try and get through the culvert.  They are now in a position to move forward with the next storm event.  I must say that this is very discouraging for fish and folks like the Krigsman’s who own the land that this failed  culvert sits on.  We need to notify the county that they have installed a product  that needs replacement.  Additionally, by taking the bend out of the stream on Mossano’s side they are losing the entire Schutts  point.  How is it that those in the know, fail to understand the dynamics of water and how the velocity controls everything? 

Amazing Deer Photos.  We received some amazing deer photos we will include more in a future wildlife update and have attached one to this email.  
Thanks For Sharing.  Thanks to all those who share your photos and for your comments!

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous – 12/11/10


Illahee Creek Culvert.  The culvert under Illahee Road wherein the waters of Illahee Creek flow, has been a concern for the Illahee Community for some time.  The December 3, 2007 storm filled the culvert with sediment and if a big log had come down and plugged the culvert it would likely have washed out Illahee Road.  With the current storm approaching we are watching the culvert closely, and some big upstream logs.  Attached are two photos, the first shows the culvert with a 32 inch clearance, and the second shows some big upstream logs.

Guard Rail Installation Complete.  The guard rail installation along Illahee Road completed on Friday across from Fisher Park (see photo).  It wasn’t without some problems as a North Perry Waterline was ruptured in the process.  Many realized something had happened as the turned on their facets and found brown water.  It happened around noon on Thursday and was repaired quickly and the brown water also went away.

Restoration Signs in Preserve.  Two restoration signs were installed in the Preserve on Friday.  One was to secure an unauthorized trail, and the other to note the future restoration in the area commonly known as Golf Course Hollow, where stormwater is a problem (see the last photo).

Eagle Scout Signs Missing.  We were extremely disappointed to see that in less than a week some of the trail signs that Justin McAlister and his Boy Scout troop had put up (last Sunday), had been removed.  Attached is a photo of some that are still there plus the empty spot where one was last Sunday.  We received comments about how nice they were and how helpful it was to have them there from those who walk the trails daily.  If anyone has any information on who is taking the signs please let us know.

Horse Comments.  We received a number of comments regarding the two Updates that explained the horse situation.  What was new to us was that several mentioned that their dogs either liked to roll in the horse droppings, or would eat it. 

Before the Rain Photos.  We took some other photos this morning before it started to rain.  Attached are photos of the big pond under the power lines near the end of Johnson Road (north of the golf course).  This big pond is the headwaters of the north fork of Illahee Creek and also the headwaters for one of the branches of Steele Creek.  We also took photos of the detention facility at Illahee North.  The water was overflowing from the detention pond where it is essentially tightlined (except for 150 feet) to the outfall at the Illahee community dock (see photo).

Wood Duck.  When taking our ‘before the rain’ photos we noted a wood duck swimming with two mallards.  It is a first sighting for us and we were glad to get the attached photo. 

Wildlife Update Coming.  We have a number of photos that we need to pass on regarding wildlife and promise to do so soon.  We have been asked to increase the kilobyte (KB) size of our photos so they are easier to view.  We are still learning on how to do this and attempted to do so with our last photo. 

Jim Aho

>Wildlife&Miscellaneous – 11/21/10


Chipmunks.  We know there are a number of Illahee residents who have chipmunks in their yards.  We snapped a photo of one during a recent walk.  

Deer.  We heard about a big 4 point buck that got hit and killed on McWilliams last week.  The county hauls dead deer away if they are aware of them.  In past years there are usually 2 or 3 local deer, that we know of, that get hit by cars during the rutting season.

More Wildlife Comments Soon.  We realize that we need to report on some pressing matters and will continue later with more wildlife photos and information.

Illahee Creek Culvert.  Of concern to many in Illahee is the status of the Illahee Creek Culvert.  It has filled to a point where a major storm could cause major problems and possibly wash out the culvert and road.  We took a couple of photos this week to give you an idea just how much sediment has accumulated.  This is one of the possible agenda items that could be brought up at the upcoming Illahee Community Club (ICC) meeting.

ICC Quarterly Meeting 11/29/10.  The Illahee Community Club (ICC) has scheduled its quarterly meeting for next Monday evening (11/29/10) at the Port of Illahee’s meeting room at 5560 Ocean View Blvd from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.  They were unable to find available times at the library and are thankful that the Port of Illahee has a place within the community where they can meet, though it may be a little crowded (it is a big room but not as big as the library meeting room) and there are currently not enough chairs (if anyone knows where they can get some folding or stacking chairs, the ICC would like to talk with you).  Parking is also limited and people will probably need to park at the Illahee store or along Madrona.  We  will send out a reminder of this meeting and hopefully an agenda later in the week.

Saturday’s Preserve Work Party.  We really should have let people know about the amazing work party the East Bremerton Rotary scheduled this past Saturday (11/20/10) but we knew it was going to be big and didn’t want to flood the area with too many people.  We aren’t exactly sure how they do it, but they keep getting bigger work parties each time they schedule an event.  So how big was this event?  If you count just the people who signed in there were 32 from the aircraft carrier John C Stennis, 14 from Naval Base Kitsap, 19 from the East Bremerton Rotary, and 8 from the Illahee Community, which totals 73.  We have attached a group photo that was taken at the end of those who were still there.  

Piles of Wood Chips Moved.  Over the past 5 months tree companies have been dumping chips at the Preserve.  When they filled the normal chip delivery area, they started dumping them in the parking lot, and we had to move some as it is an offense to block the handicapped parking areas.  The goal was to get rid of all those chips by placing them on the trails and around the parking lot, which they did.  See the picture of them loading chips and then realize the group photo was taken were the chips were previously.

Dedication Comments.  We have been told a number of times about how those who attended the Illahee Preserve dedication (on October 26th) enjoyed it in spite of the rainy weather.  We were also told that the dedication was so special for one family that they donated $500 to the Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP), which is the support non-profit group for the Illahee Preserve.  It was the IFP that paid to have the dedication rock moved into place, and paid for the dedication plaque and installation.  If any others are interested in contributing, the IFP is a 501.c.3 non-profit corporation and gifts are tax deductible, as allowed by law, as is the Illahee Community Club, PO Box 2563, Bremerton, WA 98310.

Volunteer Supported.  We should note that the Illahee Preserve is a Kitsap County Heritage Park that is an experiment in which primarily volunteers plan, support and maintain the Preserve.  This is possible because of the support of the East Bremerton Rotary, who not only supports with work parties, but also has paid for the signs at Thompson Lane and the Almira parking lot; along with support from the IFP, the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee, the Illahee Community Club, the Illahee Community, and the Port of Illahee.   The experiment is working as more and more volunteers show up to help and support the Preserve.  Thanks to all involved!!!

Jim Aho

>Various Items – 9/16/10

>Illahee Road Accident Info & Photos.  Received some more information and some photos of the accident that occurred last Friday evening on Illahee Road.  Thanks to neighbors who helped and then passed the following information on to the community as this accident was not reported in the papers.

Here are some pictures my son took of the wreck. The driver
fled the scene – he was lucky to be alive! Sure hope everyone drives

…….terrible crash…..lots of police and fire trucks ……..  ;-(
We ran down  to check and call 911….but the people from the trailer court were even faster and had called ….
The driver did however crawl out of the wreck and up the steep slope and ran away…… unbelievable that he was able to do that……
We talked with other people who knew him and he came apparently from the house only a bit up the road (with big gate) and drove full power in the ditch…..
The truck is gone….but the driver is O.K.       thank goodness
That is the third accident this year down below us…..!!!!!!!

Deer Photos.  Received the following note and the deer pictures this afternoon as we started this update.
These 4 deer were grazing in my front yard (University Point Circle) this afternoon. The 4 point buck looked like he had some mixture of fallow deer.
Illahee Creek Culvert Partial Clean Out.  Early last Thursday morning (9/9/10) the county cleaned 4 or 5 truck loads the sediment out at the outlet side of the culvert that goes under Illahee Road.  By removing the sediment and creating a depression (hole) at the end of the culvert, they are hoping the sediment level inside the culvert will decrease enough to prevent the failure of the culvert.   

Illahee Creek Culvert in Jeopardy?  The clear opening at the inlet (upstream end) of the culvert before the clean out was 31 inches, which is significantly less than what the culvert was designed for.  The clear opening height will continue to be monitored by the community as well as the county.  If there were to be a storm like there was on December 3rd of 2007, there is a strong likelihood the culvert would not be able to handle the stormwater and the culvert and road would probably wash out.

The Rain Garden Solution.   The initial cost to fix the stormwater problems affecting the culvert, Illahee Creek, and Puget Sound is estimated at $20 million, but if each resident in the watershed installed a bio-retention facility it could go a long way to help.  That is why some 1600 copies of the attached brochure have been printed and distributed at public events like the Fair and have been partially circulated in the community.  As the brochure states “While major work will be required to correct all the sedimentation problems, the immediate solution of having home owners install rain gardens is one thing that can be done now….”  The brochure is also downloadable on the illaheecommunity.com website.

Illahee Community Petition.  We have been asked if we could resend the petition as a number of you reported either not receiving the petition packet.  Attached is an updated black and white version of the petition and the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) sheet, which are also available at the website illaheecommunity.com.  While the current response is 94% in support of the petition, they are reportedly well below the 500 responses desired and are asking that residents would respond one way or the other.

Request for Email Petition.  We found out that a few had send email responses, and we have been asked if that was acceptable.  We contacted the ICC and they were advised by their local legal counsel that email responses such as attached below or on the website are acceptable and should be sent to:  web@illaheecommunity.com

Jim Aho

_____Yes!  I agree with the petition and add my signature in support of the Port taking these actions.
_____No!  I am sorry but I cannot support the petition.  (Please let us know your reasons.)
Comments:    ______________________________________________________________________________
NAME        _____________________________________SIGNATURE__________________________________
ADDRESS __________________________________________EMAIL__________________________________
CITY, STATE, ZIP ___________________________________________________PHONE__________________

>Illahee Beach Nourishment Appeal Thursday in Port Orchard – 9/30/09


Informal Appeal of Illahee Beach Nourishment Project.  As stated in an earlier Update, the Illahee Community Club’s request for an informal appeal of the Illahee Beach Nourishment project was finally approved.  We promised more information on the Illahee Beach Nourishment project, so this is what we know.
Connected to the Dredging of Illahee Culvert.  The county has a blanket HPA (hydraulic Project Approval) to dredge out all culverts in the county.  The “Illahee Beach Nourishment” project is a new HPA to take the dredged material and place it on top of the Schutt’s Point spit in the name of “beach nourishment.”  We think this is to be done once a year for five years, though some of those attending the Port’s hearing last week on the same subject, thought they heard it could be done twice a year.
How Much Material?  We have been asked how much material is being dredged.  The permit says ~50 cubic yards from the downstream end of the culvert.  The material is to be placed on top of the spit in a row 100 feet long by 10 feet wide according to a drawing.  The height would be 18 inches, and if done once a year for 5 years would make it 7 and a half feet high, and double that if it is done twice a year.
How Does That Help the Beach?  That is the question we are trying to understand.  The natural movement of beach sediment is to the north in what is called a drift cell.  It is a natural process that probably keeps the Schutt’s Point spit area beach sediment intact.  Does the spit need help?  We haven’t noticed any problems, and other than just wanting to dispose of the sediment onto the beach rather than in a gravel pit, we don’t understand why it is being done.
Littoral Drift.  Littoral drift is what we know this movement of sediment to be, though it has other names.  We have attached the wikipedia link if you want more information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longshore_drift
Attendees?  The Illahee Community Club voted at its last meeting to file the informal appeal.  There were several community members at the Port’s informal appeal hearing in Olympia last week.  Illahee residents are welcome to come and express their thoughts. 
Beach Silting Problem.  We have talked with a number of residents who have been concerned for years with the silting that has been going on at the beaches from the storm surges of Illahee Creek, and the damaging affect the silt has on clams and oysters. 
More Beach Silt?  Some of them are concerned that dumping the culvert sediment, which contains more silt is only compounding the problem.  We are hoping some of them will be able to tell the DFW Appeals Coordinator what is happening to the shellfish now because of excessive sediment, not to mention a proposal to add more.
The Ghost Net Guy to Attend.  Dale Thoemke, the ghost net guy, was invited by an Illahee resident to attend.  We are hoping that he, as a diver, will be willing to talk about the damage silting does to shellfish.
Port Orchard Hearing Thursday,1 PM.  The meeting is being held at the DFW offices in Port Orchard, which is much better than having to drive to Olympia.  The time is 1 pm.  The offices are at 502 High Street, Suite 112, in Port Orchard.  The DFW phone number is (360) 874-7258 if you need more information.  Or you can call me, Jim Aho, at 479-1049.
Jim Aho

>Report of Illahee Community Meeting on 8/22/09 – 9/1/09


Illahee Community Meeting 8/22/09.  The Illahee Community Club held its quarterly meeting at the Sylvan Way library on Saturday afternoon 8/22/09. There were three primary items on the agenda – the Timbers Edge Proposal, an announcement by the Port of Illahee, and a discussion of the Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Hydraulic Project Approval of a 5 year dredging plan of the Illahee Creek culvert.
Timbers Edge Proposal.  There was unanimous approval of the Timbers Edge Proposal that was drafted by the ad hoc committee and the Club’s board.  We just received an advance copy of the letter forwarding the Proposal to Mr. James and the Proposal itself, which reads as follows:

The Illahee Community has been working diligently to restore and preserve the Illahee area of Puget Sound, including Illahee Creek, its aquifers, baseflows, wetlands, floodplains, and estuaries; and is greatly concerned about the currently proposed Timbers Edge project and its impact on these areas.
The citizens of the community have had to live with the results of past county approved projects that have been detrimental to the health of the Illahee area, Illahee Creek and Puget Sound.  Engineering studies funded by the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Port of Illahee have documented significant problems from these approved and authorized developments in the Illahee Creek watershed, and have concluded that major restoration work must be done to correct the problems.  The estimated cost to correct the past failures on Illahee Creek alone is $20 million, which does not include the aquifer recharge issues of Timbers Edge that could result in the death of Illahee Creek as a salmon stream.  
The Illahee Community has also been successful in the past to defeat detrimental projects (fish pens) or mitigate the impacts (Illahee outfall project), both county approved projects (through the Hearing Examiner and the Board of County Commissioners), and have demonstrated they will stand up and fight for and defend positions that are right for their community.
With Timbers Edge there are varying concerns.  For adjoining property owners there are concerns for the health and safety for children with regard to traffic.  For others it is the impact on Illahee Creek, the underlying aquifers, the estuary and floodplains.  The possible death of Illahee Creek as a salmon bearing stream is unacceptable to the community, and the fact that an EIS or Environmental Impact Statement was not required by Kitsap County is both irresponsible and intolerable. The lack of concern for the creek sends a message that in Kitsap County salmon streams take second place to development.
The citizens of Illahee are not opposed to land development.  They would like to work with the developer and the county to insure the Timbers Edge project fits the community and preserves the stream and the natural features of the area.
The Illahee proposal is that the Timbers Edge development project be reconfigured to conform to the current existing zoning for the area.  This zoning density, along with low impact design applications, will help insure the protection of Illahee Creek.  By itself, the reduced density will by itself improve the traffic safety concerns for the children within this area.
The elimination of major infrastructure costs should be a financial incentive.  The proposed sewer system would be replaced by septics.  The septic systems will help increase groundwater infiltration, which in turn supports aquifer recharge and the baseflows in Illahee Creek.  With maximum infiltration of stormwater through infiltration pits, bioswales, and rain gardens, etc., stormwater overflows do not need to be treated which eliminates the requirement for a stormwater basic treatment facility and piping to Puget Sound.   Eliminated also are the following: the required road improvements on Perry Avenue, possible Fir Drive improvements, the anticipated cost of running the sewer line under Illahee Creek, a new sewer pump station, and the cost of repairing Illahee Road for the sewer line installation.
The secondary benefit of the Illahee proposal is a safe and environmentally enhanced development that is supported by the Illahee community and the Illahee Community Club.

Port of Illahee Announcement.  The Port of Illahee announced that it made an offer on a residence that it hopes to use as an office and a community meeting place, with the lower portion remaining as a rental.  The property address is 5560 Ocean View, and the offer is contingent upon being able to get a conditional use permit, which is needed for any business use in a residential area.
Dredging Proposal.  There was concern by the community with regards to the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Hydraulic Project Approval of a 5 year dredging plan for the Illahee Creek culvert.  The project is proposed by Kitsap County Public Works and was approved by DFW.  The approval letter states that if there are concerns that either an informal or formal appeal can be filed within 30 days.  The community was concerned that the Department of Ecology funded report that offered remedies for the watershed and the culvert, was not made part of a comprehensive culvert plan, and voted to file an informal appeal.  We just received an advance copy of the appeal letter and have included the text below:

The Illahee Community Club recently became aware of the Hydraulic Project Approval for the “Illahee Beach Nourishment” project, which proposes to dredge the Illahee Creek culvert and place the dredged materials at the beach.  In our opinion, the project has little to do with “beach nourishment,” and more to do with a five year authorization to continue dredging a problematic and failing Illahee Creek culvert.
The Illahee Community Club is in receipt of a Department of Ecology funded report, reference (a), which has analyzed the Illahee Creek watershed because of the sediment pollution impacting Puget Sound.  The report documents the sources of the pollution and other problems associated with Illahee Creek and its watershed, and goes on to recommend strategies and projects to correct the problems.
At an Illahee Community meeting on August 22, 2009, the community was informed of the “Illahee Beach Nourishment” project and, after much discussion, decided by unanimous agreement that they could not support the HPA without a corresponding watershed implementation plan to correct the underlying causes of the sedimentation in the culvert.
The Illahee Community Club is therefore filing this informal appeal of the HPA of “Illahee Beach Nourishment” project, and request that any dredging of the culvert be part of the larger comprehensive watershed surface water management plan for the Illahee Creek watershed.

Other Meeting Reports Later.  This Update is rather long so we will send out the Timbers Edge appeal hearing (8/24/09) and the University Point dock hearing (8/27/09) reports later this week.
Jim Aho