Marlene Feist

New combined sewer tank to protect Latah Creek

Marlene Feist, Utilities Communications Manager, No Phone Number Available

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 11:47 a.m.

New combined sewer tank to protect Latah Creek

Updated March 23, 2015

Construction will begin this spring on yet another facility to manage combined wastewater and stormwater overflows, keeping that wastewater out of our surface waterways. This project near High Drive and Hatch Road will include a concrete storage tank and new piping to handle up to 205,000 gallons of that combined wastewater and stormwater.

The facility will keep that flow—and the pollutants that come with it—from entering Latah Creek. In fact, this project removes the only uncontrolled outfall that leads to Latah Creek.

As part of the work, the City also will improve the pedestrian crossing at 43rd Avenue near Hatch Street, revise the median island at 43rd and Hatch to accommodate truck traffic, install new drywells and stormwater management features, improve the street surface, and add some new sidewalk. The goal is to deliver multiple benefits for the community while completing these projects.

Traffic restrictions will be needed in the area during the construction, which is expected to last into the fall. Traffic will be closed on 43rd Avenue from Grand Boulevard east to Scott about 6 this weeks this summer, and 43rd east of Scott will close for couple of months starting in August or September. Please see the handout provided at the public open house on this project for detour details as well as a convenient map of traffic detour routes.

Ultimately, this project is part of a larger effort to meet Clean Water Act requirements and protect our waterways.

The City has combined stormwater and wastewater sewers in many older neighborhoods, particularly on Spokane's South Hill but also in parts of Northwest Spokane. Overflows from these combined sewers occur during large rain storms or periods of rapid snowmelt when the combined flow exceeds the capacity of the pipes. The excess overflows through an outfall into the river—or in this case, Latah Creek.

Over the next 5 years, the City will spend about $300 million on projects to improve the health of the Spokane River. The work includes tanks like this, stormwater management work, and a major upgrade to our wastewater treatment plant.

The work is outlined in the City's Integrated Clean Water Plan, which is designed to deliver significant environmental results in a financially responsible way. The City has committed to completing the plan's work while holding utility rate increases to inflation to make the work more affordable for citizens.

Projects currently under way include combined sewer overflow storage tanks in Underhill Park, on Sprague Avenue just west of Hamilton, and at Northwest Boulevard and Providence.