Submitted by Thurston County

Thurston County is receiving national recognition for the Albany Stormwater Pond Project. The project is the 2022 national award winner for environmental projects of $5 million dollars or less from the American Public Works Association (APWA).

The project won the APWA Washington State Chapter award last month, elevating it to consideration for national recognition. The award will be given during an awards ceremony at the APWA Public Works Expo in Charlotte, NC on Monday, August 29, 2022.

“The Albany Stormwater Pond project is a product of the commitment and dedication of county staff, our consultant Herrera Environmental Consultants, and contractor Pievetta Brothers Construction. This is an honor to be recognized and I’m proud of the work Thurston County is doing to create a healthy natural and built environment,” said Thurston County Public Works Director Jennifer Walker.

The innovative stormwater pond can annually soak up as much water as a football field flooded 12 stories high, and doubles as a community space for all to enjoy. Input from area residents resulted in the addition of a walking trail, a crosswalk connecting a nearby community park, and an outdoor amphitheater with seating.

The amphitheater is accessible during dry months when the pond is empty and disappears underneath the water in winter months when the pond is full.

“Thurston County is committed to protecting water quality and preserving in-stream flows. We are grateful for the involvement from the Rochester community on this project, which led to an innovative design protective of water quality and quantity, while also serving to engage and inform the public on the benefits of stormwater management,” said Thurston County Public Works Water Resources Manager, Tim Wilson.

Other national award winners from Washington State include the City of Seattle’s Fairview Avenue North Bridge Project, and the City of Bellevue’s Mountain to Sound Greenway Trail Project. To see a list of both state and national winners visit APWA Washington State Chapter’s Project of the Year list.

About the Albany Stormwater Pond Project

The town of Rochester in Thurston County, Washington experienced frequent issues with standing water and poor drainage after storm events. Thurston County collaborated with community members to develop a stormwater solution that would improve water quality treatment and provide the rural community with an amenity.

This project was funded in part by the Washington State Department of Ecology, that provided $1.2 million to support in-stream flows.

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