(Washington, D.C.) – Today U.S. Senator Patty Murray announced that she has included $1.3 million in funding to help provide clean water and wastewater improvements in Monitor, Winlock and West Richland. Senator Murray included the funding in the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies (Interior) Appropriations bill – the annual spending bill that funds environment and natural resource project priorities. Senator Murray is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
"Too often small communities do not have the capacity to fund water treatment and wastewater treatment facilities at the local level," Murray stated. "This critical funding will help these projects move towards completion while at the same time alleviating some of the rate increases for the residents. These projects will provide local users with clean water, and will provide the community's with the treatment capacity necessary for current and future use."
Community of Monitor - $600,000
This project will extend Chelan County PUD's existing water system from the Sunnyslope area to the Monitor community. The secured funding will be used to cover a portion of the construction phase of the project, thereby reducing the rate residents will be required to pay for service. Once completed, the project will provide safe, clean drinking water to approximately 600 residents, several commercial businesses and fruit warehouses. There are many documented cases of high nitrate levels and bacteriological contamination in well water in the region. This project will help prevent a moratorium on new development in the Monitor area due to an inadequate water supply.
City of Winlock - $400,000
The City of Winlock is building a new wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) to meet a number of water quality standards, including Water Quality Standards in Olequa Creek. Completion of this project will provide Winlock with the capacity for service expansion, which will help attract business and residential development, as well as to move forward with a planned 648 acre industrial/commercial park that is predicted to create over 2,300 local jobs. This federal funding will also help lower resident's monthly sewer bills. Additionally, treated effluent from the WWTP will meet Class A reclaimed water standards, allowing it to augment low summer flows in the Olequa Creek, benefiting salmon and wildlife in the area.
City of West Richland - $300,000
The City of West Richland is in the third and final phase to expand the North Waste Water Treatment Plant (NWWTP) to handle redirected wastewater flow from a non-compliant sewer lagoon and to comply with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit (NPDEP). Currently the NWWTP is operating at 85 percent capacity, and the city must immediately expand the facility to meet its NPDEP requirements. Upon completion of this expansion, West Richland will have adequate wastewater treatment capacity for the next twenty years. This federal funding will reduce the increased sewer rates local residents will pay for the project. West Richland is poised for rapid residential and commercial growth, as well as increased discharge needs from the local wine industry.
The Interior Appropriations bill passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee today. It will now be scheduled for debate by the full Senate.