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Public Works & Utilities - Sewer & Water Utilities

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Posted on: July 22, 2015

Pierce County wins state and national award for its Sewer and Traffic Operations Facility

Pierce County recently won Project of the Year—Structures $25 million to $75 million at both the Washington State Chapter and the National level of the American Public Works Association (APWA) for its new Sewer and Traffic Operations Facility.

The Sou...

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Posted on: October 15, 2014

Reduce flooding by keeping storm drains clear of leaves

With wet fall weather returning and leaves falling, the potential for flooding along county roads increases. Pierce County residents can help reduce flooding by keeping storm drains clear of leaves.

“While residents are raking leaves in their yards, th...

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Posted on: October 3, 2014

Lake Louise boat ramp and Melody Lane Southwest to close for construction

lakelouisepump.jpg

The Lake Louise boat ramp located off of Melody Lane Southwest in Lakewood will be closed 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays Oct. 6 through Dec. 7 while crews work on the sanitary sewer pump station located next to the ramp. Property owners who store t...Read on...

Posted on: September 5, 2014

Pierce County’s sewer system receives strong credit ratings in advance of bond sale

Pierce County’s sewer system received strong credit ratings this week from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Rating Services and Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) in preparation for its upcoming revenue bond issuance. S&P assigned its "AA" long-term rating with a stable outlook to the 2014 sewer revenue bonds, and Moody’s assigned an "Aa3" long-term rating with a stable outlook.

The rating agencies assigned these ratings based on their view of the Pierce County sewer utility’s credit fundamentals, including:

  • The essential nature of the utility’s services;
  • A local economy that benefits from military and trade activity and healthy income indicators;
  • A stable and very diverse customer base;
  • Strong historical financial performance;
  • Strong management of a significant capital plan that includes an expanded wastewater treatment plant;
  • Maintenance of strong operating liquidity and healthy cash reserves;
  • Relatively affordable sewer bills for a large metro area; and
  • Strong expected coverage of the existing and projected debt service of the system by net revenues.

County officials expect the strong ratings to contribute favorable interest rates when the county offers the estimated $31.9 million 2014 revenue bonds in a competitive sale next week.

The bond proceeds will fund a portion of the projects identified in the sewer utility’s 2013-2018 capital facilities plan. The projects include the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant to expand capacity for projected growth in demand through 2022, as well as other improvements in the service area.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Stacey Scott, Pierce County Budget and Finance
253-798-7580
sscott@co.pierce.waRead on...

Posted on: August 20, 2014

Council approves increase in new sewer connection charge; no changes to current customer fees

Members of the Pierce County Council voted on Aug. 19 to increase the fees for connecting to the sanitary sewer system to help pay for the ongoing expansion of the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in University Place.

“This increase i...

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Posted on: May 21, 2014

County Council recognizes efforts of Public Works employees

The Pierce County Council adopted a resolution recognizing the week of May 18-24, 2014 as “National Public Works Week” in Pierce County. Speaking on behalf of the Council, which unanimously supported Resolution 2014-62, Councilmember Doug Richardson appla...Read on...

Posted on: April 29, 2014

Replacement of generators at sanitary sewer pump stations in Lakewood underway

Work to replace generators at five sanitary sewer pump stations located throughout Lakewood began Monday, April 28. Construction is expected to last through early November, although the work at each site will take approximately one month.

The existing...Read on...

Posted on: March 26, 2014

Sewer connection assistance available for residents and projects

Pierce County is accepting applications for individuals or projects that need assistance connecting to the sewer system.

This help is to available residents and projects located in Public Works and Utilities’ Sewer Service Area, a 117-square-mile basi...Read on...

Posted on: March 10, 2014

Treatment plant to end sales of individual bags of SoundGRO® fertilizer

Individual bags of SoundGRO® fertilizer will no longer be sold directly from the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in University Place, effective March 15. Bags will continue to be available at a number of distributors across Pierce Count...Read on...

Posted on: March 10, 2014

Treatment plant to end sales of individual bags of SoundGRO® fertilizer

Individual bags of SoundGRO® fertilizer will no longer be sold directly from the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in University Place, effective March 15. Bags will continue to be available at a number of distributors across Pierce Count...Read on...

Posted on: February 20, 2014

Replacement of the Day Island sewer force main pipe underway

Work to replace a deteriorated 382-foot sewer force main located under the Day Island Bridge began this week.

Sewer service will not be interrupted during the project, which is expected to be complete in mid-May. Traffic across the bridge will be redu...Read on...

Posted on: January 27, 2014

Beach advisory lifted after tests show normal water quality levels

The water quality levels at Chambers Creek Regional Park in University Place tested normal and an advisory cautioning people to stay out of the water was lifted Jan. 27 by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department following an incident last week at the C...Read on...

Posted on: January 24, 2014

Swimmers advised to stay out of water at Chambers Creek Regional Park after sewage discharge

People are advised to stay out of the saltwater at Chambers Creek Regional Park in University Place as a precaution after approximately 200,000 gallons of partially disinfected sewage was discharged into the water.

The incident, caused by a brief mecha...Read on...

Posted on: December 20, 2013

Work postponed on Brookdale Road sewer main

A project to replace a sewer main along Brookdale Road in Parkland has been postponed until mid-2014. Crews had planned to shift work to the eastern end of the project in December, but unfavorable conditions and associated costs have made postponement the...Read on...

Posted on: December 19, 2013

Construction of sewer force main in Puyallup starts Dec. 23

Pierce County will begin installing a sewer force main in the South Hill area of Puyallup on Dec. 23. The work is expected to last through Jan. 20.

Work will begin on 126th Street East and move west to 90th Avenue East. It will continue south along 90t...Read on...

Posted on: December 6, 2013

Sewer main work shifts to Brookdale Road in December

Construction crews replacing a sewer main along Brookdale Road in Parkland are shifting work to the eastern end of the project this month.

The crews are replacing 5,000 feet of sewer pipe with a 72-inch diameter interceptor pipe. The project, managed ...Read on...

Posted on: October 7, 2013

Trail closure at Chambers Creek Regional Park

The Grandview walking trail along Grandview Drive in University Place is closed to the public through Friday, Oct. 18. The trail runs between the North Meadow parking area north of Cirque Drive and the entrance to the park at 62nd Street Court West. The planned closure allows for installation of a sewer bypass line necessary for Pierce County's rehabilitation of the sewer pipe along Grandview Drive between Heitman Way and 64th Street W.

Wooden barricades are in place at each end of the closed portion of the trail. The barricades have a “Trail Closed Ahead” sign and arrows directing walkers to detour to the sidewalk area paralleling Grandview Drive.

Public Works and Utilities is rehabilitating 9,600 feet of existing 30-inch sewer pipe and about 30 manholes along Grandview Drive to prolong the pipe's life and make it structurally sound. A new pipe liner will be installed and cured in place, which will reduce the need for large road excavations and extended road lane closures. The pipe liner protects the pipe from hydrogen sulfide corrosion. This method was chosen because it was the alternative with the lowest cost and least impact to the public during construction.

More information about this project can be found at www.co.pierce.wa.us/Grandview.

MEDIA CONTACTS:Steven Chanfrau, P.E., Pierce County Sewer Utility engineering supervisor
253-798-4129Steven.Chanfrau@co.pierce.wa.us

Callene Abernathy, Public Works and Utilities public information specialist
(253) 798-4661callene.abernathy@co.pierce.waRead on...

Posted on: September 26, 2013

Brookdale Road sewer main replacement project starts Oct. 1

Pierce County will begin replacing the sewer main along Brookdale Road in Parkland Oct. 1. The project is expected to last through February 2015.

Work will begin at the intersection of A Street and 133rd Street East and move north to Brookdale Road. Th...Read on...

Posted on: September 24, 2013

Construction on sewer pipe along Grandview Drive W begins this week

Pierce County will begin rehabilitating 9,600 feet of sewer pipe and about 30 manholes located along Grandview Drive West in University Place on Sept. 25.

Repairs will be made to the corroded, 30-inch diameter interceptor sewer pipe in order to increa...Read on...

Posted on: August 19, 2013

Wastewater treatment plant receives “Outstanding Performance” award from state

Wastewater Treatment Plant

Pierce County's Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in University Place has received the 2012 "Wastewater Treatment Plant Outstanding Performance" award from the Washington State Department of Ecology for the fifth consecutive year.

“Good business practices and environmental stewardship are top priorities for our employees,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “This award shows our rate payers how seriously we pursue these values.”

Of approximately 300 wastewater treatment plants in Washington, Pierce County’s plant is one of 107 that achieved full compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit in 2012. Treatment plants were evaluated for compliance with the effluent limits, monitoring and reporting requirements, spill prevention planning, pretreatment, and overall operational demands of the NPDES permit.

"It takes diligent operators and a strong management team, working effectively together, to achieve this high level of compliance,” according to a letter from the Department of Ecology to Executive McCarthy. “It's not easy to operate a wastewater treatment plant 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without violations. Ecology appreciates the extraordinary level of effort your plant operators demonstrated throughout 2012. Talented and proficient operators are critical to successful plant operations and protecting the health of Washington's waters."

This is the 14th time in the 17-year history of the program that the plant has earned this award.

"Our employees have the expertise and skills required to meet the exacting standards and rigid guidelines for NPDES compliance,” said Brian Ziegler, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities director. "They take pride in their work and deserve this recognition, particularly since we are under construction for a large treatment plant expansion that will meet Pierce County's treatment needs for decades."

The $353 million expansion will increase sewer capacity, introduce new technologies that help protect the environment, support economic development in Pierce County, and build the foundation for meeting future environmental regulations. The project will also allow the county to repair and replace aging infrastructure at the plant.

The expansion project will increase the plant’s footprint from 49 acres to 89 acres and treatment capacity from 28.7 million gallons per day to 43 million gallons per day. Infrastructure improvements consist of a new laboratory, rehabilitation of existing buildings, and expansion of many of the treatment facilities such as digesters, aeration basins and secondary clarifiers.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Larry Ekstrom, Public Works and Utilities wastewater treatment plant superintendent(253) 798-3032lekstro@co.pierce.wa.us

Callene Abernathy, Public Works and Utilities public information specialist(253) 798-4661caberna@co.pierce.wa.usRead on...

Posted on: August 13, 2013

Turn lane to be added on Chambers Creek Road at 64th Street West

A turn lane will be added on Chambers Creek Road at 64th Street West in University Place to relieve traffic congestion at the intersection. Construction will begin Aug. 15 and is expected to be complete in the beginning of September. Motorists should expe...Read on...

Posted on: July 8, 2013

Partial walking trail closure on Chambers Creek Road

A portion of the E Slope Walking Trail, near the north entrance to the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, will temporarily close to the public.

The closure will last from 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9 through 12:30 a.m. on Friday, July 12...Read on...

Posted on: June 17, 2013

Learn about Brookdale Road sewer main replacement project at June 20 open house

The public is invited to an upcoming open house to learn about Pierce County’s replacement of the sewer main along Brookdale Road in Parkland.

The open house will be held June 20 run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Elmhurst Elementary School community room, located at 420 133rd St. E. A short presentation will be made at 6 p.m. about the project and construction schedule. An interceptor is a sewer line that receives wastewater from multiple collector pipes and transports it to a wastewater treatment plant.

The county will replace about 5,000 feet of pipe with a 72-inch diameter interceptor pipe along Brookdale Road from Golden Given Road East to A Street South. The work will begin in mid to late July, and is expected to last until October 2014. The existing pipes are 30-inches and 8-inches in diameter.

“The nearby interceptor pipe along 133rd Street East and Brookdale Road is nearing its capacity of 7 million gallons per day. It's also heavily corroded, and it's located in an area affected by high groundwater levels,” said Jane Vandenberg, Public Works and Utilities Sewer Utility engineering supervisor. “Groundwater seeps into the sewer pipe, reducing its capacity to carry wastewater. By installing a new interceptor pipe along Brookdale Road, the county will be able to increase wastewater capacity. Also, the new interceptor will be in an area less affected by high groundwater.”

About 750 feet of new 36-inch diameter pipe will be installed along A Street South to connect the Brookdale Road interceptor pipe to the existing pipe at 133rd Street East.

Detour routes may be in place periodically throughout the project. There will be local access when detours are in place. The county will work with property owners to minimize impacts.

Visit www.piercecountywa.org/brookdaleinterceptor for more information.

MEDIA CONTACTS:Jane Vandenberg, P.E., Public Works and Utilities Sewer Utility engineering supervisor
(253) 798-4641jvande@co.pierce.wa.us

Callene Abernathy, Public Works and Utilities public information specialist
(253) 798-4661caberna@co.pierce.waRead on...

Posted on: January 23, 2013

Learn about wastewater treatment plant expansion at Jan. 31 open house

Jan. 23, 2013

The public is invited to an upcoming open house to learn about Pierce County’s expansion of the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. The open house will run from 5 to7 p.m. on Jan. 31, at the Environmental Services Building...Read on...

Posted on: November 7, 2012

Celebrate start of treatment plant expansion with Nov. 15 groundbreaking

Pierce County residents are invited to celebrate the start of construction on the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion with a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. Nov. 15 at the plant, located at 10311 Chambers Creek Road W in Univer...Read on...

Posted on: September 25, 2012

County receives $13 million low-interest state loan for treatment plant expansion

Tuesday Sep 25 2012 10:00 AM

Pierce County's Public Works and Utilities department applied for and received a low-interest state loan for the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion project.

The $13 million loan will supplement the county's bond sales and will be paid back to the state Public Works Trust Fund with 1 percent interest over 20 years. Pierce County will receive the loan money in 2014 after state legislative approval.

"This loan will save the county and our sewer rate payers nearly $7 million just in interest payments," said Brian Ziegler, Pierce County's public works director.

Sewer Revenue Bonds were sold in August to fund the majority of the treatment plant expansion. These bonds will be paid back at a rate of 3.589 percent, a 40-year low in interest rates.

The Public Works Trust Fund Board is one of the state's primary infrastructure financing authorities. The Board uses a four-part risk assessment to evaluate the eligibility of applicants, the importance of the project, the managerial capacity of the local government, and the financial strength of the jurisdiction or its underlying infrastructure system. Pierce County's Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion was one of 277 projects funded in the 2014 funding cycle and received the maximum amount allowed through the program. A total 335 applications were received by the Public Works Trust Fund Board.

Pierce County's Public Works and Utilities department will continue to apply for Public Works Trust Fund loans for the 2015 and 2016 funding cycles to augment future bond sales and help finance the $350 million project. The county is expanding and upgrading the plant to make room for future growth in the region, replace aging infrastructure and stay ahead of changing environmental regulations.

MEDIA CONTACTS:Steve Kamieniecki, Public Works and Utilities sewer utility senior planner
(253) 798-3094?skamien@co.pierce.wa.us

Lauren Behm, Public Works and Utilities sewer utility public information specialist
(253) 798-2421?lbehm@co.pierce.waRead on...

Posted on: September 12, 2012

Pierce County seeks comments on proposed sewer regulation changes

Wednesday Sep 12 2012 5:18 PM

All customers of the Pierce County Sewer Utility are invited to provide feedback on proposed updates to county regulations that deal with Sewer Utility operations. Suggested changes include bill payment clarifications and ...Read on...