From the Yelm Community Blog:
Work to Start Soon on Yelm’s Water Reclamation Facility Project
During a recent Yelm City Council meeting, public works Director Cody Colt said the city will accept bids for [an upgrade Yelm’s water reclamation facility], which has a bid “cap” of $30 million, through the remainder of July and potentially into the beginning of August.
Upgrades to the facility will switch the plant from sequence batch reactors (SBR) for water treatment to membrane reactor (MBR) water treatment.
The current SBR treatment uses phase separation with a gravity setting method in order to treat water at the facility, while the updated MBR method will use membrane technology that activates sludge to treat wastewater.
“The new plant should take our new growth out to 2045 or longer,” Colt told the Nisqually Valley News. “This is us planning for growth. This is one more thing we’re doing to be proactive (about growth) versus reactive. We’re tackling problems before they become problems.”
The city has been working to upgrade and add to its water reclamation facility since 2019. Colt said the current facility is over 20 years old.
In 2020, the City of Yelm applied for a low interest loan to help fund the project. Then in 2021, the city received the loan from the Washington Department of Ecology at a rate of 1.2% over the next 20 years. Colt told the council the city was fortunate to secure the low rate because interest rates for similar projects are currently around 6%.
Colt said the upgrades to the water reclamation facility are needed because the current plant is nearing capacity. It’s on pace to reach full capacity in four to five years.