BREMERTON — Scientists and government planners have begun to ponder what additional steps, if any, should be taken to solve Hood Canal’s low-oxygen puzzle.
Because of conflicting studies, the report was unable to conclude whether human sources of nitrogen — such as septic systems and fertilizers — cause a decline in the dissolved oxygen level greater than 0.2 milligrams per liter. That’s the threshold for triggering further studies and cleanup actions under the federal Clean Water Act.
- For the main part of Hood Canal north of Hoodsport, researchers generally agree that any low-oxygen problems are almost entirely natural.
- Researchers also agree that natural conditions — including winds from the south — are the primary cause of episodic fish kills around Hoodsport and that the human role is probably insignificant.