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City leaders heard yet again Water Reclamation system is failing –
$17-25 million is immediately required just to bring up to today’s standards –
Mayor Foster says city’s water customers should be prepared for steep rate increases

  • Editor’s note: The Yelm City Council had a special session on Feb. 18th to hear another presentation once again on the water reclamation system’s updating urgency. This blog has covered the Public Works issues the city council has heard since 2017, yet five things remain the same:

1. the water reclamation system is failing, has litle capacity for more hook-ups,

2. the $17-$24 million price tag,

3. the city has no money to pay for this project,

4. water customers should expect to shoulder much of the price tag,

5. any upgrades will bring the system to today’s standards, then the system will have to play catch-up to the then-modern technology.

Bottom line: Mayor JW Foster keeps kicking this ‘can o worms’ down the road ever since this issue was raised in 2017. The city touts the need for more water rights to grow and expand with the knowledge that the Public Works Dept. is unable to provide basic services for additional new customers. Just attempt to wrap your mind around that concept!

“Consultants’ Preferred Fix for Yelm Wastewater Facility Would Cost $23.5 Million”

“Yelm Mayor, City Council Discuss Next Steps to Make Upgrades or Optimizations at Aging Facility”

“In the coming months, the Yelm City Council will likely choose from one of four consultant-recommended options to repair and ensure the longevity of the city’s wastewater reclamation facility.

“Those proposed fixes could cost between $16.9 million and $24 million, according to estimates.

Yelm Mayor JW Foster said that while fixing the issue of the city’s aging wastewater treatment facility will be at a potentially steep cost to the city’s water customers, it’s a necessary step the city must take to preserve the system.”

There are currently four options that have been put forward to the city. The two highest-ranked recommendations are to either retrofit the city’s current sequential batch-reactor tanks to move toward an membrane bio-reactor system or install a new membrane bio-reactor system and tanks, then use the existing tanks for equalization.

The system also has difficulties with removing nitrogen and ammonia gas from treated wastewater, which has affected the city’s permitting eligibility with the Washington state Department of Ecology.

There are also issues the city could potentially deal with in regards to growth and providing basic services. The plant is currently operating at 85 percent capacity, according to Parametrix staff, and in its current form does not allow the city much room to grow,” by Eric Rosane, Nisqually Valley News. Read more

Posted by Steve on February 26, 2020 at 12:01 am | Permalink

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One comment

  1. Please call me. I believe I can solve the treatment issue. The issue with the mayor is a problem.

    Comment by David Flanigan on February 26, 2020 at 5:12 am

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