CWAC begins plant plans

Published on Thu, Jul 17, 2003
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CWAC begins plant plans

The Blaine citizens� wastewater advisory committee (CWAC), which is comprised of 10 members of different backgrounds and appointed by city council, initiated the process of preparing objectives and guiding principles that they will ultimately utilize to compare different alternatives for Blaine�s future wastewater treatment system.

The vision of the committee is to plan for the city of Blaine�s wastewater future in a manner that provides for development, leverages progress already made, protects water quality and is community friendly.

All committee meetings are open to the public. Federal funding awarded to Blaine was earmarked for wastewater planning and the city council determined that this process was the most inclusive way to engage community input.

Blaine city manager Gary Tomsic and public works director Steve Banham, as well as city council member Bonnie Onyon and Mark Henderson of the department of ecology, are assisting the committee.

The committee�s first meeting reviewed infrastructure options and opportunities in other portions of the Northwest where wastewater treatment facilities have become community attributes.

During the second meeting, the committee toured Blaine�s existing wastewater system and looked at areas that have been identified in the past as potential treatment locations.

While specific alternatives for future wastewater treatment are still under development, information from the tour assisted the committee to begin the process of preparing objectives and guiding principles. These will be used to evaluate the alternatives, which are being prepared by the engineering from CH2M HILL.

�The wastewater system election process will be benefited by this experienced group of community opinion leaders who are working on an aggressive schedule to complete their recommendations and provide them to city council by September,� said city manager Gary Tomsic. �It is this kind of citizen engagement that makes Blaine a great place to live and work.�

The committee has reviewed the history of Blaine�s wastewater treatment activities, and they are considering a full range of issues and options. A substantial amount of information on wastewater treatment-related topics is being prepared for the committee to support its work. It includes material currently presented on the city�s website as well as other information such as a video presentation on wastewater treatment and large-scale maps and charts. All information that is available to the committee is also available to the public and the committee says it encourages the public to become engaged in the process by reviewing this information, which has been made seen in the conference room of the Blaine public works department.

�The care that this committee is taking with this important issue is a positive reflection of how important water quality is to the city of Blaine,� said Steve Banham, director of public works.

CWAC has scheduled meetings for July 23 and August 19 to finalize objectives and guiding principles and to begin to evaluate alternative sites and technologies. Meetings are held at 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Blaine city hall. For more information, call the city at 332-8311 or visit online at of