The new Brightwater treatment plant has begun work after more than a decade in the making and nearly $2 billion invested in the project, according to The Seattle Times.
The plant began treating sewage and discharged some of the first treated effluent into Puget Sound at the beginning of the November. The plant is so effective it is producing water 30 times cleaner than required under its state permit, and clean enough to use as reclaimed water, the Times report said.
"It's a great benefit to Puget Sound," Mark Henley at the state Department of Ecology told the Times, which regulates pollution discharges into Puget Sound.
Treated effluent from the plant flows through 13 miles of pipeline to Point Wells and is discharged 600 feet below the surface of Puget Sound, a mile off shore.
Some work remains to be completed on odor-control facilities, the Times report continued.
The wastewater treatment plant north of Woodinville is just north of the intersection of state Route 9 and state Route 522 on about 114 acres that are home to the treatment plant as well as 43 acres of restored wilderness with meandering trails and a community center open to the public.
The county’s Wastewater Treatment Division serves 17 cities, 17 local sewer districts and more than 1.5 million residents in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.
In a recent regional competition sponsored by Engineering News Record magazine, King County and its contractors earned a “Best Project” award in the Civil Works/Infrastructure category for the successful completion of the Brightwater plant. Brightwater will compete with other projects at the national level this fall.
Construction on the Brightwater project began in 2006. Designed to treat 36 million gallons of wastewater a day, the plant has been operating since September 2011.
To learn more about the Brightwater project, visit www.kingcounty.gov/brightwater.