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News / Clark County News

Washougal gets $966K from feds for wastewater treatment project

Construction will begin ‘in about 45 to 60 days,’ official says

By Doug Flanagan, Camas-Washougal Post-Record
Published: March 23, 2024, 6:05am

WASHOUGAL — The city of Washougal has received another infusion of cash from the federal government to help build a wastewater treatment plant biosolids-handling facility and to decommission its wastewater treatment lagoon.

The $966,000 award is part of a $21.4 million funding package secured earlier this month by U.S. Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Skamania, for 15 projects across Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.

The city plans to pay for the $34.5 million wastewater project with $11 million from its wastewater fund, $21.6 million from a state Department of Ecology Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan and $1.9 million in federal loans.

The Washougal City Council approved a $26 million construction agreement for the project with Woodland-based Stellar J Corp. on March 12.

“The mandated enhancements at our treatment plant are costly, and the burden falls on all our residents and businesses. This funding is making a positive difference, helping us to mitigate the impact of this project on our sewer utility rates,” Washougal Mayor David Stuebe said. “When we reached out to the congresswoman about this project, she was very responsive, including doing a site visit to become informed first-hand.”

The project will not only improve the treatment of wastewater; it also will double the plant’s capacity, allowing for future growth in the city.

Stellar J “will mobilize in about 45 to 60 days,” according to Washougal Public Works Director Trevor Evers, who added that construction will take about a year and a half.

The city’s current biosolids-management strategy relies on the storage and treatment of biosolids within four large sewage lagoons that encompass more than 12 acres at the city’s wastewater treatment plant, Evers said.

The project will construct a facility that will turn solid waste generated from the city’s wastewater treatment process into land-applied, Class-B fertilizer via an aerobic digester. Once the treatment plant is running, the city will decommission its existing lagoon storage system, according to Evers.