Sale of OWSI


    More content to be added as issue unfolds.

OWSI is Olympic Water & Sewer, Inc.


Water in the vast majority of the homes in Port Ludlow is provided by Olympic Water & Sewer, Inc. The following excerpts are from the Water Quality Annual Report for the Calendar Year 2006 (as distributed to the homeowners). If you want more information, view the Washington UTC site.

Where does your [Port Ludlow] water come from? We [Olympic Water & Sewer, Inc.] currently pump water from five ground water wells ranging in depth from 200-500 feet. Well Nos. 2, 3, and 4N are in the area of Walker Way and Talbot Way. Well Nos 13 and 14 are off Teal Lake Road just north of Teal Lake. A new Well No. 16 in that same area has worked its way through the various approvals and construction and will be put into use in Summer 2007. All of the wells are protected by a “Wellhead Protection Plan” that restricts activities that may pose contamination risks.”

The quality of the water delivered to Port Ludlow remains very good. In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) prescribe regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The water delivered to your homes and businesses meets all of the standards for the Primary, or health-related standards with the exception of Well No. 14 which exceeds new limits set for arsenic. Please see additional arsenic information on the back of the report and our plan for lowering the arsenic level of the water.” [note: former limit was 50 parts per billion (ppb), current limit is 10 ppb, water from well #14 tested at 12 ppb, request a full copy of the report from Olympic Water & Sewer for more information]

Secondary Standards. While not required by the EPA in this report, please note that the Secondary, aesthetic related standard for manganese is exceeded at Wells 13 and 14 (and the future Well 16). Manganese is not a health concern but can be a nuisance as it can stain plumbing fixtures.”

Olympic Water & Sewer
70 Breaker Lane
Port Ludlow, WA 98365
360-437-2101 during normal business hours
360-385-1803 for emergencies


The vast majority of the homes in the Port Ludlow Master Planned Resort are served by Olympic Water and Sewer. See “water” above for the contact information; water and sewer service are bundled in Port Ludlow. In it’s May 28, 2008 issue the Port Townsend Leader reported that Olympic Water & Sewer was honored with the 2007 Outstanding Wastewater Treatment Plant award from the Washington State Department of Ecology, and that the Port Ludlow facility is one of only 78 plants out of 300 statewide to achieve full compliance, according to the DOE.

The sewage treatment plant is located between the south end of Condon Lane and the basketball courts on the north side of the Admiralty Condominiums. Homes which are not hooked up to the Olympic Water and Sewer system have their own individual sewage treatment systems, such as a septic system.

June 2013: To date, community letter regarding the sale of Olympia Water & Sewer Inc has not been sent. Utility Committee will be giving an update of their discussions at June 6th meeting.

6-5-2013 Provided by David W. Johnson – Port Ludlow Lead Planner, Department of Community Development-Jefferson County:

RCW 36.70A.360: Master Planned Resorts
(1) Counties that are required or choose to plan under RCW36.70A.040 may permit master planned resorts which may constitute urban growth outside of urban growth areas as limited by this section. A master planned resort means a self-contained and fully integrated planned unit development, in a setting of significant natural amenities, with primary focus on destination resort facilities consisting of short-term visitor accommodations associated with a range of developed on-site indoor or outdoor recreational facilities.
(2) Capital facilities, utilities, and services, including those related to sewer, water, storm water, security, fire suppression, and emergency medical, provided on-site shall be limited to meeting the needs of the master planned resort. Such facilities, utilities, and services may be provided to a master planned resort by outside service providers, including municipalities and special purpose districts, provided that all costs associated with service extensions and capacity increases directly attributable to the master planned resort are fully borne by the resort. A master planned resort and service providers may enter into agreements for shared capital facilities and utilities, provided that such facilities and utilities serve only the master planned resort or urban growth areas.
Nothing in this subsection may be construed as: Establishing an order of priority for processing applications for water right permits, for granting such permits, or for issuing certificates of water right, altering or authorizing in any manner the alteration of the place of use for a water right; or affecting or impairing in any manner whatsoever an existing water right.
All waters or the use of waters shall be regulated and controlled as provided in chapters 90.03 and 90.44 RCW and not otherwise.
(3) A master planned resort may include other residential uses within its boundaries, but only if the residential uses are integrated into and support the on-site recreational nature of the resort.
(4) A master planned resort may be authorized by a county only if:

a) The comprehensive plan specifically identifies policies to guide the development of master planned resorts;
b) The comprehensive plan and development regulations include restrictions that preclude new urban or suburban land uses in the vicinity of the master planned resort, except in areas otherwise designated for urban growth under RCW 36.70A.110;
c) The county includes a finding as a part of the approval process that the land is better suited, and has more long-term importance, for the master planned resort than for the commercial harvesting of timber or agricultural production, if located on land that otherwise would be designated as forest land or agricultural land under RCW 36.70A.170;
d) The county ensures that the resort plan is consistent with the development regulations established for critical areas; and
e) On-site and off-site infrastructure and service impacts are fully considered and mitigated.

[1998 c 112  2; 1991 sp.s. c 32  17.]


Intent – 1998 c 112: “The primary intent of this act is to give effect to recommendations by the 1994 department of community, trade, and economic develoopment’s master planned resort task force by clarifying that master planned resorts may make use of capital facilities, utilities, and services provided by outside service providers, and may enter into agreements for shared facilities with such providers, when all costs directly attributable to the resort, including capacity increases, are fully borne by the resort.” [1998 c 112  1.]

May 2013 – Lengthy discussion about sale of OWSI during Village Council Special Meeting (held 5/21). Utilities Committee has not reached a consensus decision yet. Utilities Committee will present both sides to this issue at an upcoming Village Council Meeting.

April 2013 – Jefferson County’s Public Utilities District (PUD) submits a bid to purchase Olympic Water & Sewer Inc., after PLA requests a bid be submitted by them.

DEVELOPER REPORT:  Diana Smeland, PLA President stressed the safety of the wells.  She stated that Well #2, which had quality issues is now getting frequent testing.  She also confirmed that PLA is seeking a buyer for Olympic Water and Sewer (OWSI).  The firm has signed an agreement with a listing broker.  No data is available to a potential buyer until a letter of intent is signed.  There was some discussion about whether a Special Purpose District could purchase OWSI.  Diana stated that would require a confidentiality agreement.

March, 2013 – Phil Otness, Chair of the Utility Committee, has prepared a letter to send to the community about PLA’s possible sale of Olympic Water & Sewer Inc OWSI.

  • The committee wants the community to consider our options.  They see 3 possibilities:  1) Sale to Jefferson County PUD, 2) Form our own local Water and Sewer District in Port Ludlow, or 3) ownership by another private company.
  • The committee is inclined to asking that the PUD acquire the system. (see comments from another member of Utilities Committee, below They will continue to report to the community on potential impacts and options available to the community. Beverly Browne will edit the letter prior to publication.
  • Message from Dave Armitage, PLVC President (member of Utilities Committee): “I would like to respond to the impression that Phil left you with about the Utility Committee’s inclinations.  There were no votes taken at the Utility meeting and there is no clear inclination that the PUD is the correct choice for our community.  What we believe is the PUD paid way too much to buy the PSE business.
  • There is also concern that the PUD’s management will be stretched by that purchase limiting them with regard to Port Ludlow’s needs.There are a myriad number of issues that the community needs to be made aware of and then the community can voice their preference.
  • ”The concept that there are sufficient water rights for the build out of the development agreement should leave you a little cold snd concerned.  The community will exist far beyond PLA and we need to be assured we have a sufficient water supply to carry the community into the future.
  • “PLA/OWSI does not and has not maintained a reserve fund. The North Bay water and sewer system is reaching an age when a significant investment will need to be made into the infrastructure.  Already, South Bay water is being pumped into the North Bay system to makeup any shortfall from well #2.  That portion of North Bay on the water side of Oak Bay road is permanently connected to the South Bay system.  When PLA says that they and Pope will split the cost, they are saying, “we the rate payers will split the cost for what is Pope’s responsibility.”
  • “Serious consideration needs to be given to the choices before the community, another private company, PUD, or a local district.  All will increase rates to include a reserve fund and the private company will add a profit. Just some thoughts for your consideration before you decide to send a letter to the community.”

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