The cities of South Bend and Raymondhave constructed a Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility to serve both citiesand their sewer service areas. A RegionalWastewater Coordinating Committee was formed to guide the planning, design, andconstruction of the new facilities, and to provide long-term coordination forthe regional facilities.
Although thecities of South Bend (population 1,625) and Raymond (population 2,890) arelocated just three miles apart on the banks of the Willapa River, they hadnever held a joint Council meeting before this project.
Before thisproject started, both cities operated their own wastewater systems, utilizinglagoons for treatment. The state Department of Ecology notified both citiesthat they would soon need to meet secondary treatment standards, whole effluenttoxicity limits, and new water quality-based permit limits. Meeting theselimits with their existing wastewater treatment lagoons was becomingincreasingly difficult.
South Bend’s treatment lagoons weren’tlined, and Raymond’s had been damaged by sludge removal. The underwatercrossing from South Bend to its lagoons had broken twice.
Also,the sewer collection system in both cities was old and leaking, which allowedrainwater and groundwater to flood the sewer system. Flows and loadings to bothlagoons exceeded the design capacity. In Raymond, treated effluent from thelagoon failed several Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) tests, signaling the needfor ammonia removal - requiring a different type of treatment plant.
South Bend had violatedits effluent discharge permit numerous times. In 1999, the Department ofEcology ordered South Bend to start planning to upgrade its plant, and to limitsewer hook-ups to two per year. In 2004, under threat of lawsuit, the cityentered into a Consent Decree and agreed to upgrade the sewer infrastructure.
City staff andelected officials began meeting together regularly in 2004 to coordinate theirwastewater system planning efforts.
In 2004 South Bend and Raymondsecured funding to prepare their own respective General Sewer Plans/WastewaterFacilities Plans and hired consulting engineers to do so. While analyzing thepossible solutions, it became apparent that a regional wastewater facility wasthe most cost-effective alternative for both cities. In 2007, the RegionalGeneral Sewer Plan/Wastewater Facilities Plan identified a new regionalwastewater treatment facility located in Raymond as the preferred alternativeto replace the two cities’ respective outdated lagoon systems. A jointWastewater Facilities Plan was prepared and approved by Ecology in May 2007.
A Value Analysis Study conducted in2007 by an independent third party endorsed the regional treatment plantconcept as the most cost-effective and reliable means of meeting current andfuture wastewater treatment effluent limits.
Five joint council meetings were heldin 2007-2008 to discuss this project – these were reportedly the first everjoint council meetings of the Raymond and South Bend Councils.
Two large public meetings were heldwith potential state and federal funding program staff in October 2007 andFebruary 2009 to explore funding options.
Regional Wastewater CoordinatingCommittee
In 2007-2008, a group consisting ofstaff, elected officials, and citizens from both cities developed anIntergovernmental Contract for Wastewater Services (Contract), which wasapproved by both councils in May 2008. The Contract required the formation of aRegional Wastewater Coordinating Committee (RWCC) to represent the interests ofboth communities, to guide the planning, design, and construction of the newfacilities, and to provide long-term coordination for the regional facilities.The RWCC consists of six members, three from each city.
The RWCC and others (including thetwo cities’ mayors and public works directors) have been meeting monthly withstaff from the project’s consulting engineer, Gray & Osborne, Inc. since2008. The RWCC has included several engineers and others have experiencerelevant to the design of this project, so the RWCC has been able to provide agreat deal of input into the design and construction of the new regionalfacilities. This has resulted in a high level of ownership by both communities.
Design and Construction
2008 – Both cities secure funding todesign the regional wastewater treatment facilities;
2009 – 2010 – Both cities securefunding for construction of the regional wastewater facilities and some localwastewater facilities;
2010 - 2012 – Construction of localand regional wastewater facilities;
2013 – Expected completion of localand regional wastewater facilities.
Local interim financing (provided bythe Bank of the Pacific) and a local contractor helped to keep a good portionof the money spent on the new Willapa Regional Wastewater Treatment Facilitiesin the Pacific County area. The construction contract for the new RegionalWastewater Treatment Facilities was awarded to Rognlin’s Inc. of Aberdeen, whoindicated that the project has provided jobs for 20 to 35 construction workersduring the past two years. Approximatelyhalf of these workers were from the Raymond-South Bend area, with the balancefrom Pacific and Grays Harbor Counties.
The Regional Facility consists of:
· A new mechanical activated sludgeplant at the site of the existing Raymond lagoons;
· New wastewater transmission pipelinesfrom South Bend to Raymond;
· A new pipeline under the WillapaRiver to convey the combined wastewater flows from both cities to the newregional plant; and
· A new outfall in the Willapa Riverfor treated effluent.
Local Improvements being doneconcurrently include:
Approximately54% of the households that are now being served by the Regional WastewaterSystem are considered “low- to moderate-income.” The region’s unemployment rateis approximately 10.3%. There are approximately 5,000 people in the area to beserved (~2,000 in South Bend and ~3,000 in Raymond).
Department of Ecology loans
Benefits of the Regional WastewaterFacilities Project
Additionally, taking a regionalapproach to wastewater treatment has laid the foundation for these communitiesin North Pacific County to act in a consolidated manner on other issues such astransportation, stormwater management, and economic development that willrequire cooperative solutions as they arise.