Ambitious Brightwater sewage project now online after long effort–Seattle Times

This relates to us on the Peninsula, because Seattle and it’s environs has been putting billions of gallons of treated sewage into the Sound for decades, without clearly understanding it’s long term affects on salinity, pollution load, etc. Relatives of mine who have lived in Indianola since the late 20s’ claim that the beach has become a shadow of it’s former self, with very little of the great clam beds that used to be there. No one understands why, but it isn’t out of the question that sewage and stormwater runoff have taken their toll. We just have no real scientific monitoring done over decades to clearly show what has happened. That is why the Puget Sound Partnership is worth funding. To do this on a long term basis.

I have been critical of the fact that we all use the Sound as our toilet bowl, regardless of whether it is treated sewage or not (i.e. Victoria).  We need the ability to put in composting toilets if we want to, and  other technological advancements.

In the meantime, Brightwater is going to put into the Sound at least highly cleansed water. The best thing it could do from here, is pipe it to all the golf courses needing water for the fairways, and for other non drinking uses. Maybe someday we’ll even see it used to fill toilet bowls, rather than our ongoing use of fresh drinking water for that.

In a milestone for clean water, the new Brightwater treatment plant has begun work after more than a decade in the making and nearly $2 billion invested in the project. The plant began treating sewage and discharged some of the first treated effluent into Puget Sound at the beginning of the month. The plant is so effective it is producing water 30 times cleaner than required under its state permit, and clean enough to use as reclaimed water. Lynda Mapes reports.

Read the whole story at the Seattle Times:

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