May 4, 1998
Water chief applauds Sims
Bob Bandarra, Woodinville Water District manager, called King County Executive Ron Sims' plan to set aside $20 million to study water reuse the "right thing to do." Bandarra says the future for humans, fish and growth in Puget Sound may depend on reclaiming water. The possible listing of Chinook salmon as a threatened species could affect how much water is available to people. "Think outside the box. Change perceptions," he challenged. "If we do that we're going to have more than enough water." Bandarra doesn't consider himself a visionary, rather "an experienced wastewater treatment operator who's successfully used this is in the past."
The biggest struggle with using reclaimed water is, as always, public perception. Bandarra said while more research needs to be done, the area has the scientific base in the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to tap into for that work. He's seen it work in California and says that Mississippi River water is used seven times over by the time it reaches New Orleans."Why reinvent the wheel every time? Why not look at the processes that work and use those?" he said. "Depending on the treatment, it could be used for anything," Bandarra said, adding that reclaimed water could be marketed locally to golf courses or for groundwater recharge.