Expansion of wastewater plant in Oregon City seeks to ensure protection of health, environment amid future growth

Water Environment Services held a Sept. 17 groundbreaking ceremony for a third wastewater treatment digester at the Tri-City sewage plant in Oregon City.

PHOTO COURTESY: WATER ENVIRONMENT SERVICES - In addition to WES Director Greg Geist and county commissioners, representatives in attendance included Oregon City Commissioner Brian Shaw and Happy Valley City Councilor Brett Sherman.The new digester will allow the Tri-City facility to expand its capacity to treat solids in a 1.4 million-gallon tanklike structure and associated infrastructure needed to accommodate growth in northern Clackamas County.

The WES urban service area includes Gladstone, Happy Valley, Johnson City, Milwaukie, Oregon City, West Linn and communities in unincorporated Clackamas County.

Construction of the new digester is expected to be completed in early 2021. Modernization of existing equipment at the Tri-City facility will take place during construction of the new digester.

"As our region grows and redevelops while our infrastructure continues to age, we'll see the need for more projects like this one in the future," said WES Director Greg Geist. "WES is committed to using value engineering and other practices to keep costs down while ensuring the lowest-risk, state-of-the-art technology is being used."

The Tri-City facility cleans more than 11 million gallons of wastewater every day before releasing it into the Willamette River. Each year, WES treatment facilities clean more than 6 billion gallons of wastewater.

"This project supports some of the county's top priorities, which include building a strong infrastructure, ensuring safe, healthy and secure communities, and growing a vibrant economy," said Clackamas County Chair Jim Bernard. "WES is a premier utility that is proactively taking steps to ensure that outstanding and affordable service will be provided to its customers for decades to come."

All five county commissioners and representatives from cities within the WES service area attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

Consultants involved in the digester construction project include James W. Fowler Co., Jacobs Engineering Group, Portland Engineering Inc. and the Winterbrook planning group.

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