Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in University Place was honored October 9 with Washington’s top environmental award for designing and building a facility that makes high quality, readily usable fertilizer from biosolids while eliminating the use of 90 tons of toxic chemicals per year.
The Pierce County facility received the 2007 Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices in a ceremony at the state capitol. Chambers Creek is among 11 companies and agencies the state recognized this year for their success in moving the Washington towards a more sustainable future.
“These winners represent the best of the best at protecting the environment while running profitable businesses,” said Jay Manning, Department of Ecology Director. “I never fail to be impressed by the creativity and vision displayed by these award winners. They show that in Washington you can protect the environment and succeed commercially at the same time.”
The Chambers Creek facility receives and treats 17.1 million gallons of wastewater daily. The wastewater treatment facility includes a fertilizer manufacturing plant that produces SoundGRO. The fertilizer meets or exceeds U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for biosolids-based fertilizer classified as Exceptional Quality (EQ) Class A product.
In the past, the facility flared off the biogas from the treatment process; now they use it to fire the dryers for fertilizer production. Treated wastewater replaces 500,000 gallons of drinkable water daily in producing fertilizer production and irrigating the landscaping.
A low-pressure, high-intensity ultraviolet light disinfection system for the wastewater has replaced 90 tons of chlorine and sulfur dioxide gasses used annually. This system automatically adjusts the amount of UV light needed in the disinfection process. The manufacturer recycles the spent UV lamps. www.piercecountywa.org/pc/abtus/ourorg/pwu/sewer/wwtp/ccwtp.htm
The numbers: Reuse 500,000 gallons water/daily. In 2006, reduced diesel by 8,660 gallons/year and reduced biogas emissions by 160,000 cubic feet.
The award winners reduced or even eliminated their use of toxic materials, applied key principles of sustainability, and conserved resources that otherwise would have been consumed.
Other 2007 winners are:
Ben Franklin Transit, Richland, a public transit agency, pioneered new fuel blends of ethanol and bio-diesel and sponsored forums on sustainability and “liveable communities.”
Biokleen Industries, Vancouver, manufactures non-toxic, concentrated cleaners and participated in setting the national standards for “green” cleaners.
Lummi Island Wild, Lummi Island, uses the traditional method of reef netting to selectively catch salmon while protecting vulnerable species. They power their net winches with solar panels, a world first for commercial fishers.
Materials and Resources Management & WSU, Pullman, are leading the country in higher education facilities with their integrated system for buying, using and disposing of materials, and promote the school’s participation in testing new products and ideas.
Mountain Gear, Spokane Valley, sells outdoor clothing and equipment worldwide. They followed “green building” standards in remodeling their facility and serve as a real-life model for commercial green building.
SEH America, Vancouver, manufactures silicon wafers using innovative processes that eliminate 270,000 pounds of chromium-contaminated wastewater and the use of 47,000 pounds of isopropyl alcohol per year.
The Evergreen State College, Olympia, built the first higher education building in Washington to be Gold-level certified Gold by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Offer courses in sustainability and use sustainable practices on-campus.
The Holland-Burgerville, Vancouver, offset 100 percent of the electricity for the 39 restaurants with wind power, support organic farming and ranching by buying local, fresh, and organic food, and educate their customers on environmental stewardship.
Whitman Mission National Historic Site, Walla Walla, a unit of the National Park Service, uses solar power for some of their energy, conserves water, buys recycled products, and composted 47 tons of yard waste in 2006 rather than landfilling it.
Yelm Earth, worm & castings farm, Yelm, a commercial vermicomposter (composting with worms), sells organic soil amendments and crops, and home kits. They educate the public and participate in research on the benefits of vermicomposting.
The Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices began in 1991. It will honor its 110th winner this year. An external panel of pollution prevention and sustainability experts select the winners, after an extensive review by Ecology staff. The Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction Program of the Department of Ecology administers the award program for the Governor.