Port’s cup runneth over at Bush Point — literally

BUSH POINT — Today is the first day of boating season and the Port of South Whidbey is ready.

The floats are in, the new concrete ramp with it’s chevron-patterned design seems to be in shape and the restrooms are, well, empty.

Last week, a woman complained to on-site manager Mike McCarthy that something was bubbling up on the restroom floor.

Something nasty.

“Every time the toilet was flushed more, uh, stuff rose up from the floor drain,” McCarthy explained. “We pulled up the lids on the two septic tanks and both were full to overflowing.”

Port manager Ed Field said the septic system is very high-tech and computer-controlled; it requires a hand-held Palm Pilot device to operate.

“We hung up some out-of-order signs and brought in portable

toilets,” Field said. “On Tuesday, we pumped out two truckloads worth of the stuff.

“It was really ripe out there.”

After they were empty, workers discovered broken pipes and disconnected pumps. Wednesday, a crew went down and re-installed the system.

“Fresh water has been flushed through and Mike cleaned and disinfected the whole area,” Field added. “There was no contamination of the surrounding area and we’re open for business.”

Total cost to the port won’t be known until all the bills are in but the septic company charged $1,400 for the pump-out. Since the one-year warranty has expired, the port will absorb the cost.

However, the port will be reimbursed $12,000 for the concrete work — and repair to the hoops that attach the floats to the pier — by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the agency that still owns Bush Point.

Thomas Ranton from Clinton drove by the facility Thursday morning in preparation for getting his 21-foot Bayliner in the water this weekend. He noted that the concrete ramp doesn’t go to the water’s edge at low tide.

“If the tide’s out, it might be a problem but it sure looks a lot better out here than it did,” he said. “Those stripes they put in will help traction, at least until you drive over the grids. We’ll see.”

Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or jvanderford@south

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