It’s likely that most don’t think – or ever want to -- about what comes out of those swales and drywells throughout the city.
Most times, it’s wet and gross. And it has to go somewhere.
But city staffers have been given the green light to continue to work with the Washington State Department of Transportation to develop property west of Pines Road just north of Interstate 90 that will serve both jurisdictions’ needs for at least the next three decades.
On Dec. 18, an abbreviated City Council – members Ben Wick and Brenda Grassel were absent – OK’d city staffers to partner up with WSDOT to construct a facility on the state land to process the waste that’s removed from swales and dry wells.
Under the plan, the city would be tasked with designing and building the plant on the WSDOT land off of Pines and Montgomery, while the state would own and operate the facility, which could be constructed as soon as this summer.
The city, in turn, could save up to $60,000 a year from having to haul the waste away.
A decant facility is used to separate water from the solid materials that’s collected from the city’s 7,350 drywells and 3,460 catch basins. A vactoring truck – which the city currently contracts for – is used to suck out the debris that then must be disposed. Landfills only take dry material, and the liquid must be removed first.
Under the partnership, drywell waste would be taken to the facility and dried out on a concrete pad. What’s left could then be taken to a landfill or interchange site, said Steve Worley, the city’s senior project engineer.
The partnership would also help the city get ahead on maintaining its existing drywells, Worley said, as more could be serviced.
“It’s a very efficient way to do it,” Worley said.
Council Member Dean Grafos – who voiced concerns in the past when the proposed agreement was discussed – said he has come around since city staffers would not be used.
“I’m pleased with this agreement,” he said, saying the state would assume the liability and that the facility would be in a central location. “It’s a win-win for the city.”