SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- The state Ecology Department says a new sewage treatment plant for the Spokane Valley will significantly reduce pollution and improve water quality and fish habitat in the Spokane River and Lake Spokane.
The department issued a water quality permit Tuesday, allowing the plant to begin operating. It will treat eight million gallons of wastewater each day from the Spokane Valley, instead of sending it to the city of Spokane for treatment.
Advanced treatment systems will reduce phosphorus. Phosphorus encourages the growth of algae that depletes oxygen when it decomposes, suffocating fish.
The Spokesman-Review reports (http://is.gd/djuh3R ) the builder of the $173 million plant, CH2M Hill, still has to prove the plant can meet higher standards in the summer.
Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com