Plans coming together for recycling wastewater from town of Kingston

All the pieces are falling into place for an upgrade of Kingston’s sewage-treatment plant to produce high-quality reclaimed water for irrigation, stream restoration and groundwater recharge.

Kingston Wastewater Treatment Plant
Photo courtesy of Golder and Associates

By the end of this year, a study by Brown and Caldwell engineers is expected to spell out the location and size of pipelines, ponds and infiltration basins. The next step will be the final design followed by construction.

When the project is complete, Kingston’s entire flow of wastewater will be cleaned up to Class A drinking water standards. During the summer, the water will be sold to the Suquamish Tribe for irrigating White Horse Golf Course. During the winter, most of the flow will drain into the ground through shallow underground pipes. Some of the infiltrated water will make its way to nearby Grover’s Creek, boosting streamflows and improving water quality in the degraded salmon stream.

Another major benefit of the project will be the elimination of 42 million gallons of sewage effluent per year — including about 3,000 pounds of nitrogen — which gets dumped into Kingston’s Appletree Cove. I wrote about the effects of nitrogen and what is being done to save Olympia’s Budd Inlet in five stories published this week in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound, as I described in Water Ways on Thursday.

The Kingston project, estimated to cost $8 million, has been under study for several years, and Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder said he’s pleased to see the effort coming together.

“The Kingston Recycled Water Project is pivotal, and I’m very happy to be partnering with the Suquamish Tribe,” Rob said in an email. “The best thing we can do for our environment and to enhance water availability is to not discharge treated flows into Puget Sound. We are uniquely positioned to benefit from strategic investments of this nature in the coming years.”

The Kitsap Peninsula is essentially an island where the residents get 80 percent of their drinking water from wells. North Kitsap, including Kingston, could be the first area on the peninsula to face a shortage of water and saltwater intrusion — which is why new strategies like recycled wastewater are so important.

The latest feasibility study was launched last October under a $563,000 contract with Brown and Caldwell. The work includes a detailed study of soils and analysis of infiltration rates, according to Barbara Zaroff of Kitsap Public Works who has been coordinating the project. The location of the pipeline and ponds for storing water near White Horse Golf Course also will be determined.

Funding for the study includes a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation with $150,000 from the Suquamish Tribe. Kitsap County recently received a loan for up to $558,000 to support the study.

I last wrote about the Kingston Recycled Water Project in Water Ways three years ago, when I also discussed a similar project in Silverdale, where recycled water will come from the Central Kitsap Wastewater Treatment Plant.

2 thoughts on “Plans coming together for recycling wastewater from town of Kingston

  1. “Another major benefit of the project will be the elimination of 42 million gallons of sewage effluent per year — including about 3,000 pounds of nitrogen — which gets dumped into Kingston’s Appletree Cove.”

    Eliminating sewage effluent being pumped 24/7/365 into Puget Sound is the headline … it’s not just nitrogen, but multiple dozens of untreated chemicals and micro plastics in everything that goes down a toilet, sink, and shower.

    Ecology’s idea that sewage water pollution by dilution is OK for the Puget Sound needs to be scientifically studied to see if the millions of gallons of limited sewage treatment waters that flow into Puget Sound every day are environmentally benign, or if the chemicals and micro plastics are having a cumulative detrimental environment effect.

    1. A good deal of work is underway regarding all sorts of pollutants going into Puget Sound, especially estrogen-disrupting compounds. More work is needed to make sure that any chemicals getting into Grover’s Creek are safe for salmon and other fish.

      The 2010 Golder report (PDF 18.2 mb) says this on page 30:

      “Although salmon species at the Grovers Creek Hatchery appear to be at minimal risk of endocrine disruption from the proposed reclaimed water, resident or transient fish in Grovers Creek immediately downstream from the tributary receiving reclaimed water may be exposed to EDCs at concentrations associated with some risk of estrogenic effects. Salmonid population modeling in conjunction with bioassays focused on reproductive success would assist Kitsap County in evaluating potential effects of the proposed reclaimed water project.”

      Data are available in Appendix C of the report.

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