Industry award for Pierce County wastewater plant

Pierce County Public Works and Utilities was recently recognized by the Washington Department of Ecology for outstanding performance. The Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), owned and operated by the Sewer and Water Utility division, received the Wastewater Treatment Plant Outstanding Performance Award for 2009.

The Washington State Dept. of Ecology award system, started in 1995, recognizes agencies that are in full compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. The NPDES establishes permit requirements under which all wastewater treatment plants operate. The Chambers Creek Regional WWTP has won this award 11 times since 1995.

“This award is an honor, and is a true testament to the staff we have working every day,” said Sewer and Water Utility Manager Tim Ramsaur. “They are dedicated to their mission and our customers, and really deserve the credit,” he added.

The plant uses a combination of physical and biological treatment processes to treat residential and commercial wastewater generated within the designated service area. This service area includes the Cities of Lakewood, University Place, and Dupont, the Town of Steilacoom, and the unincorporated areas of Pierce County in Midland, Parkland, Spanaway, South Hill and the Frederickson Industrial area.

The highly treated wastewater is discharged in accordance with strict standards set forth in the the NPDES permit issued by the Dept. of Ecology. Residual solids from the treatment process are converted into a nutrient-rich material known as biosolids is further refined into a dry pelletized fertilizer classified as an ‘Exceptional Quality’ Class A product. This fertilizer, also known as SoundGRO, may be used in residential or commercial applications anywhere conventional chemical based fertilizers are used.

A staff of plant operators, mechanics, electricians, instrumentation technicians, laboratory analysts, pretreatment program inspectors, construction management, office, and supervisory personnel and field crews operate the facility and inspect and maintain the sewer system infrastructure that conveys wastewater from the sewer service area to the treatment plant.