In 2003, the City of Airway Heights recognized that the West Plains was experiencing difficult water resource and wastewater challenges that could significantly impact our residents and region. The City was reaching wastewater treatment capacity available through an agreement with the City of Spokane. In addition, local drinking water resources were known to be limited.
From 2003 through 2005, the City completed a wastewater facilities planning process, which included a variety of technical studies. A Wastewater Steering Committee, which included representatives from several stakeholder groups, was formed and met to review planning and study elements, and provide advice and perspectives to City staff and consultants.
During the facilities planning process, three proposed treatment alternatives were reviewed. It was recognized that the best solution was to keep water in the region, to address both wastewater capacity and limited water availability issues. To achieve these goals, protect the environment and provide service to residents at the lowest possible cost, the decision was made to build a new City of Airway Heights water reclamation plant. This plant would eliminate discharge to the Spokane River, helping to improve water quality and provide a new source of water to meet the growing demands of our community.
The new plant would treat wastewater to “ultra” clean Class A reclaimed water levels, and the water would be used for non-potable water needs and to recharge our stressed aquifer. This project provides our community with an excellent opportunity to address the water-related challenges that we face, while protecting our environment.
The planning process also involved review of four candidate sites for the new reclamation plant. Based on scoring of over 15 criteria, the City selected the site located in the southerly portion of the City’s service area, bounded by McFarlane Road on the south, Russell Street on the east, 21st Avenue on the north and Lawson Street on the west. This site allows for some expansion of the City’s sewer conveyance system and the ability to construct a reclaimed water distribution system to supply water to commercial and industrial customers for reuse.
If you have any questions or would like more information about the Water Reclamation Plant project, please contact Kevin Anderson, City of Airway Heights Public Works Director, at (509) 244-5429 or firstname.lastname@example.org://www.ecy.wa.gov/biblio/0010062.html.