City Cuts Ribbon on New Recycled Water Plant

Release Date: 

The public is invited to celebrate the opening of Hermiston’s Recycled Water Treatment Plant at a ribbon cutting at 6 p.m. on April 23 on site at the plant (2205 N. 1st Pl.).  The celebration caps off nearly two years of construction at the facility to bring the city’s discharge to a “Class A” standard.  The City fully switched the community’s sewage flow over to the new plant on October 1, and the resulting increase in discharge quality is crystal clear.

Total Suspended Solids (TSS) in the City’s discharge averaged 14 Parts Per Million (PPM) in August, and so far TSS levels are nearly 20 times lower through the new system, at just 0.7 PPM.  Ammonia levels have also plummeted from 16.1 PPM in August, to less than 1.0 PPM, and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) has fallen to 1.0 PPM, from an average of 18.0 in August.

“The goal of this Class A recycled water that we’re discharging now is to be virtually indistinguishable from drinking water,” said William Schmittle, Recycled Water Plant Superintendent.

The cost of the plant upgrade is being paid for through an increase to sewer rates, which began to take effect in phases on January 1, 2014, and the next phase on July 1, 2015.  The rate on July 1, 2015 will be $23.56 per month for residential customers.  An independent analysis conducted by Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc., released in June, surveyed 51 cities in Oregon, and 70 cities in Washington, to identify water and sewer rates charged in 2013.  Hermiston’s rate which will go in to effect on July 1, 2015 will rank it as the 4th most affordable compared to the 2013 rates of the other 121 Northwest cities.


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