Northwest NEWS

March 13, 2000

Local News

Team formed to locate new wastewater plant

   King County is a step closer to finding a location for a new sewage treatment plant to meet the needs of a growing population.

   The County has signed a contract with CH2M Hill, which will provide assistance as the County identifies a site for the treatment plant and the placement of pipes leading to and from it. The plant will be built in North King County or South Snohomish County to protect public health and the environment as the two counties' populations grow.

   CH2M Hill will act as the lead consulting firm assisting county staff with engineering, technical, and other services. Paramatrix will serve as lead consultants for environmental assessment of potential sites for the outfall, a pipe that will carry treated wastewater from the shoreline to Puget Sound.

   As the oceanographic consultant lead, Evans-Hamilton will gather comprehensive data on the speed and direction of currents in Puget Sound. The Parametrix and Evans-Hamilton contracts are expected to be signed in March.

   "This is a major milestone, as we work with the public to bring a huge and vital project to life," said King County Department of Natural Resources Director Pam Bissonnette. "Our goal is to protect water quality and public health."

   The King County Council adopted the Regional Wastewater Services Plan last November, allowing the County to move forward with the three-year site selection process. King County Executive Ron Sims will make the final site selection based on public options, including the advice of a Siting Advisory Committee, and the combined work of County staff and consultants. After the site is selected, the county will move into a six-year design and construction phase.

   The need for a third treatment plant is due to the region's rapid population growth. At the region's current rate of expansion, the area will near its sewage treatment capacity in 2010, just 10 years from now. A new regional plant will provide needed capacity and the flexibility to meet future challenges.