$1.6M facility aims to improve Pierce County storm drain waste processing

Construction of a new facility that processes roadside storm drain waste will begin next week at Pierce County’s Central Maintenance Facility in Frederickson.

The facility will allow the county to separate, process, reuse and dispose of liquid and solid waste generated when road crews clean catch basins, ditches and drainage pipes located in unincorporated Pierce County. The waste will be transported from job sites back to the Central Maintenance Facility in vactor trucks, which will be emptied into the facility and processed. The resulting processed water will be used to wash maintenance trucks, while the solid waste will be reused as a soil amendment or transported to a solid waste facility.

“Keeping our storms drains clean helps us reduce flooding and meet water quality regulations,” said Pierce County Public Works and Utilities road operations manager Bruce Wagner. “This new facility will increase our capacity for processing waste from the storm drains, and be more cost effective and efficient since the facility will be located at the home base for most of our staff and in an area where most of the county’s storm drains are located.”

The new facility will be built on a storage and stockpile area adjacent to the Central Maintenance Facility, which houses about three-fourths of Pierce County Public Works and Utilities’ road operations division and half of the department’s equipment services division. The facility will have a footprint of approximately two-and-a-half acres. The work is not expected to impact traffic along 196th Street East.

General Mechanical, Inc. is the project contractor, and KPFF Consulting Engineers is the project engineer. Construction will cost approximately $1.6 million, and is funded by a $750,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology and $837,914 in Pierce County Road Funds. The project is expected to be complete in November.

Road crews clean roadside storm drainage facilities six months of the year. There are approximately 21,700 catch basins, 1,200 miles of ditch, and 550 miles of drainage pipes in unincorporated Pierce County.

Pierce County will decommission an older waste processing facility in South Hill at the Pierce County Airport-Thun Field. This decant station will either be demolished or sold to a private company.

More information is available online at piercecountywa.org/decantfacility.