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5 thoughts on “Port Gamble sewage plant to protect shellfish, recharge groundwater

  1. Great news! Stopping the pumping of sewage, treated or not, into the Salish Sea is a way forward that might actually, eventually, clean this body of water up. While a small scale effort, it hopefully will be a project that can be pointed to by other communities.

  2. Criss, It really bothers me that with the big push for alternate energy, no one has mentioned the great potential energy that is not being tapped by the tidal currents in narrow places in Puget Sound. Mite this be an area that a PUD could tap? Considering the volume of water moving into and out of the sound twice a day, I seems to me the potential would be far greater than the Columbia river.

    1. Snohomish County Public Utility District conducted studies on tidal energy in Admiralty Inlet. In the end, the PUD decided the costs were too great for the benefits. See information on the PUD website.

      When I first wrote about this issue in Water Ways in 2008, I compared the PUD to a prospector staking his claims to sites with potential to make money.

      When I next visited the issue in 2011, I called it lunar energy, because the tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon.

      I also wrote about the project last year, when it was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Corporation but before the PUD pulled the plug.

      Some environmentalists were worried about the project’s effects on whales and other marine mammals, but I don’t know if that played into the PUD’s decision to abandon the effort.

    1. Most sewage-treatment plants discharge into a waterway. It is only with advanced treatment that you get highly treated effluent for beneficial use, such as irrigation.

      It is kind of interesting that the new Port Gamble plant will discharge into a drainfield, considering that the water could be used for irrigation. Because of volume, most large treatment plants could not find enough land to discharge into a drainfield even if they wanted to.

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