A project to protect Tacoma’s Central Wastewater Treatment Plant against future floods appears to be moving forward.
Last week, the City of Tacoma announced it is accepting bids for the project, which calls for the installation of approximately 2,500 feet of sheet pile floodwall around the southern and northern portions of the plant. The project will also consist of constructing five floodgates (of which three will be automated), a trench safety system, and a new pump station, among other things.
According to City of Tacoma officials, the plant, which is located just west of the Puyallup River in a low-lying area at 2201 E. Portland Ave., receives and treats more than 130 million gallons of wastewater per day during large storm events before it flows into Commencement Bay. Eighty per cent of the wastewater comes from Tacoma, but the plant also treats the wastewater from about 19,500 customers in Fife, Fircrest and unincorporated Pierce County.
In October, the Flood Control Zone District Board of Pierce County announced it would award a $6 million grant to the City of Tacoma to help build the floodwall. The board noted the project was selected primarily due to its high-risk ranking — namely, an overflow from the plant could introduce untreated wastewater into Puget Sound, impacting water-based businesses, recreation activities, and wildlife. The City of Tacoma’s Environmental Services has funded the project’s $1.2 million design. The year-long construction project is expected to begin this year.
Bids for the $6.1 million to $7.5 million project will be received until 11 a.m. on Tues., March 4.