Stormwater Treatment System Named to American Public Works Association 2015 Projects of the Year

Port of Olympia
The Port of Olympia's infrastructure, planning and coordination with local agencies ensures they are ready to help the community in the event of a catastrophic disaster event. Photo courtesy: Port of Olympia


Submitted by The Port of Olympia

The Port of Olympia
The Port of Olympia

The Port of Olympia Stormwater Treatment System was recently named a 2015 Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA).  The Port of Olympia, as the managing agency; 3 Kings Environmental, Inc., as  the primary contractor; and Herrera Environmental Consultants as the primary consultant; will all be presented with the national Project of the Year Award during APWA’s 2015 International Public Works Congress & Exposition Awards Ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona during August 30-September 2, 2015.

The APWA Public Works Projects of the Year awards are presented annually to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects, recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, contractor, consultant and their cooperative achievements. This year, APWA selected projects in five categories: Disaster/Emergency, Environment, Historical Restoration, Structures and Transportation. The Port of Olympia’s Stormwater Treatment System Project was awarded in the APWA Project of the Year Environment category at a cost between $5 million and $25 million.

Logging and logyard operations are rooted in the history of Washington and its’ seaports, such as the Port of Olympia, where logs travel through to their worldwide destinations. Nearly 130 million board feet of logs move through the Port, leaving behind bark and other organic material that washes into south Puget Sound.  There it’s consumed by bacteria, but in the process depletes the oxygen supply in the water leading to stress and mortality of aquatic life. Due to this process, Washington State’s Industrial Stormwater Permit set benchmarks for stormwater that contains oxygen-depleting material, so that the Port of Olympia and many logyards are now required to treat logyard runoff to meet the benchmarks.

The Port’s design and engineering consultant, Herrera Environmental, designed a 3.25-acre stormwater treatment facility that meets those demands. The facility includes a three-cell system for oxidation, pH adjustment and settling; a pod of back-flushing sandfilters; a sludge pond and sludge handling facilities; and a treatment building. The site’s configuration is designed to accommodate future growth and the system’s components are modular, allowing the system to be augmented or scaled back quickly.  This design provides the Port with flexibility for reducing operating costs should their treatment needs change.

The treatment facility design successfully incorporated application of wastewater treatment technologies to treat highly variable stormwater, and used relatively inexpensive pilot testing to guide the design.

For more information on the APWA 2015 Projects of the Year, please contact APWA Media Relations/Communications Manager, Laura Bynum,, or call 202.218.6736.

For specific information about the Port of Olympia Project, please contact Alex Smith, Port of Olympia Environment Programs Director, or call 360-528-8020.

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