September 2, 2002
King County plans wastewater treatment facility for Carnation
by Valley View staff
King County Executive Ron Sims has responded to a request from Carnation's residents with a plan to treat all sewage from homes, schools and businesses in the city of Carnation now and in the future.
Once built, a new King County facility in Carnation will protect public health and the environment by treating wastewater so residents and businesses will no longer have to rely on aging, costly septic tanks, Sims said. The facility will protect the nearby Tolt and Snoqualmie Rivers, and, as Carnation is a floodplain in an urban growth area under the state Growth Management Act, it will help the city manage impacts of the expected growth, he explained.
"City leaders, schools, businesses and residents have found that depending on septic tanks does not meet the needs of the community or the environment," said Sims. "This plan provides not only state of the art approaches to water quality, our environment and health enhancements, but a blueprint to ensuring comprehensive, well-planned growth can occur."
In July, the Carnation City Council approved an agreement with King County for the county to design, build and run a wastewater treatment facility to serve the city. The city would develop, own and run sewer lines connecting homes, businesses, schools and agencies with the King County system.
"Partnering with King County gives us the ability to leverage expertise to develop and maintain a treatment facility," said Carnation Mayor Stuart Lisk. "A sewer system in Carnation will allow existing property owners flexibility by making better use of their property by adding a garage, family room additions or even garden sheds. Improvements like these are not available today because of the septic system limitations."
Construction of the treatment facility is estimated to cost $10.6 million. Costs for the local pipelines to be built in Carnation would be in addition to the treatment facility. Each household or business would pay a connection fee to King County when it hooks up. Currently, the hook-up fee is $17.50 per month for 15 years for a single-family residence.
Sims said the arrangement for wastewater treatment would be like agreements King County currently has with 32 other cities and sewer districts. The county provides wastewater treatment service, and the component agencies own, operate and bill their customers for the local sewage collection.
The proposed agreement with Carnation includes a surcharge on the sewer rate King County charges component agencies for wastewater treatment. The surcharge would recover the capital costs of building a separate treatment plant in Carnation, which is not connected to the rest of the county system.
King County would also help the city get state and federal grants, low-interest loans and other financial aid to offset construction costs and reduce rates and fees. Completion of local sewer lines and the treatment plant is scheduled for July 2007.
King County's Wastewater Treatment Division protects regional public health and the environment by serving 16 cities, 16 sewer districts and more than 1.4 million residents in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.