BBWSD: 35 years of service, record weather, DOE award
By Roger Brown, General Manager
For Birch Bay Water and Sewer District (BBWSD), 2003 marked 35 years of service to the community, which the district celebrated with an open house September 30.
Also in 2003, the Department of Ecology presented the district with its �outstanding wastewater treatment plant� award. The district has received this award, signifying full compliance with environmental conditions in the district�s wastewater discharge permits, for four straight years.
Meanwhile, the district continued to undergo a high rate of growth, bringing 192 new lots into the system in 2003. With an additional 485 lots currently proposed for possible development in 2004, growth is expected to continue, if not accelerate next year.
A record stretch of dry weather in 2003 sent water consumption through the roof, exceeding the previous weekly consumption record by 20 percent. A successful conservation drive enabled the district to cope with this increase, while retaining enough water in storage for fires and other emergencies. To address surging demand, the district�s 2004 plan calls for a $500,000 upgrade to the water main along south Drayton Harbor and Harborview roads, a project expected to increase district water supply by 15 percent.
In administration, the district replaced its financial software, updated water and sewer connection fees, added the option of credit card payment of utility bills and secured $2.7 million in low interest public works trust fund loans to assist with infrastructure improvements. A study of water and sewer rates was completed in 2003 and will be considered by the board early in 2004.
Working cooperatively with the county, the district applied for an $850,000 community development block grant and a $136,000 public works trust fund loan to extend sanitary sewers to the Birch Bay View neighborhood. In addition, the Washington Finance Officers Association tapped district treasurer Glenn Golay to serve as their president-elect for 2004.