Oasis in the making: Redmond to relocate its wastewater treatment plant | Characteristics

The city of Redmond is seeking to acquire more than 900 acres from the federal government to relocate and expand its wastewater treatment plant. The current facility, built in 1978, is located less than two miles from downtown in the Dry Canyon, and adjoins residential homes and farmland.

Further north, the proposed relocation site is adjacent to the city’s 610-acre irrigation complex which has a treated water holding pond and hay fields. The water is used to irrigate the hay and the biosolids are used as fertilizer. The city rents land from the Federal Bureau of Land Management next to the site where disinfected water has seeped into the ground.

The relocation and expansion, known as the Redmond Wetland Complex Project, will use lagoons and wetlands built to naturally treat wastewater before discharging it to groundwater.

Less chemicals

Ryan Kirchner, director of the city’s wastewater division, said the natural process serves the same purpose as a mechanical system, but uses fewer chemicals and takes more land and time to treat and clean the water. worn.

Constructed lagoons will filter wastewater and break down energy and nutrients within 15 to 20 days.

From there, the water is polished in the wetlands before being released into the groundwater, Kischner said.

He said the plan will reduce costs and increase public green space, as the complex will be accessible to the public for hiking trails and other recreational activities. The city envisions trails connected in a city-wide trail system. Kirchner said that once the project is completed, it would be like having an oasis in the desert.

“It’s rare to have these opportunities,” Kirchner said. “It’s rare to have land. Some municipalities just don’t have that option. They must do more with less.

“And capturing that moment when it’s still available and sort of conserving that land – it’s a bit of conservation of land for wildlife habitat and public use, but it also meets the community’s needs in terms of Wastewater.”

rapid population growth

The project grew out of an update to the city’s sanitation plan last year, which aimed to respond and adapt to the city’s rapidly growing population.

Redmond’s population surpassed 35,400 in 2020, and that number is expected to grow to 54,000 by 2045.

Kirchner, who was hired by the city last year, said Redmond looks to the future by looking to lease and ultimately buy the more than 900 acres.

“We are obviously planning for today, but we are really trying to acquire these lands… to add to it disposal wetlands, but also for the next hundred years to have future lands for this community to expand these. wetlands, ”says Kirchner.

He said future expansions will be minor in comparison and the costs will be significantly lower than a mechanical upgrade.

City councilors in July approved a loan deal with the state of $ 6.4 million for design costs.

The final design is expected to be completed by December 2022 and the city’s goal is to complete construction by 2025. The total cost of the project is expected to be $ 42 million.

“Redmond’s shift to a more environmentally friendly and efficient wastewater treatment method is a major milestone for our infrastructure projects,” Mayor George Endicott said in an email. “We are very proud to pursue next generation technology in our efforts to become a smarter community. “

Public awareness, open house

Anderson Perry and Associates, Inc., a Redmond-based civil engineering firm the city hired to design the project, completed a similar project for the city of Prineville in 2017.

Prineville’s 120-acre Crooked River Wetlands use man-made wetlands to gradually reintroduce clean, treated wastewater to the Crooked River. The site is also a recreational destination offering a network of public trails.

The city of Redmond plans to launch a website for the project in the next month. Public engagement meetings with neighbors and an open house are expected to be scheduled over the next few months.

About Mark A. Tomlin

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