Northwest NEWS

September 9, 2002


My take on Brightwater

"Brightwater," what a clever name, it sounds like something from Brave New World, all squeaky clean on the outside while inside the workers twirl knobs and flush tons of sewage. OK, let me see if I understand what's happening with the Brightwater Project.
   A powerful fellow, Ron (Love Canal) Sims, wants to put a solid waste treatment plant in the Snohomish County side of Woodinville. Ron (Three Mile Island) believes the best location for the treatment plant is along Route 9, near Grace.
   The treatment plant will process about 36 million gallons of sewage a day through a maze of underground pipelines.
   Is a sewage treatment plant what we want as a landmark for this area?
   On one side of town we have wonderful wineries and a brewery. On the other side, we may get a supersized high tech honey bucket.
   The heart stopping fact is the proposed solid waste treatment plant would be located over the Woodinville Cross Valley aquifer. Imagine the horrific damage if contaminating spills spoil one of the cleanest water aquifers in all of the United States. I guess Ron (Exxon Valdez) gets his home drinking water from some other source.
   Don't get me wrong, we have a need for a solid waste treatment plant. But why choose a site for a solid waste treatment plant over a fantastically clean underground source of drinking water?
   Ron (Olympic Pipeline) knows the other proposed Brightwater sites have faced fierce citizen resistance. My guess is Woodinville residents are just now realizing the inconceivable scope of the project and its effects on our local quality of life. I hope there is time for noisy outrage to take the Route 9's location out of Ron's shell game.
   Brightwater is being dumped on us, and I ask why have a sewage plant near the aquifer or Bear Creek or small businesses or busy Route 9 or churches or our homes and wells?
   The Brightwater backers are doing all they can to put the solid waste processing plant in our back yard. Too bad it will sit on a rare, jewel-like aquifer. I know the treatment plant planners will swear on a stack of Bibles that nothing will ever go wrong and contaminated spillage will never be a problem.
   I guess Ron (Titanic) believes them. Perhaps someone should explain to Ron (Chernobyl) that few, if any, sewage treatment plants, nuclear power generators, oil refineries, cyanide processing facilities, military proving grounds or strip mines leave populated areas safe from nasty contaminations.
   Will the sewage plant be as infamous as P.G. &E. was in Hinkley, Calif., after Erin Brockovich did her thing?
   Woodinville may someday be the beneficiary of a SuperFund and Ron (Hanford Site) will probably help spend the money for the clean-up.
   If Ron (Brightwater) wants a pet project he should concentrate on getting his dog to roll over. Otherwise his name will be forever associated with a smelly messy debacle.
   Bill Stankus, Woodinville