Wastewater Department

Award-winning facility treating 1 to 3 million gallons of wastewater a day for our community.

Public Works Wastewater Utility Collection System

As the gateway to the City of La Center, this Water Reclamation Facility has been expanded as an attractive and cost effective addition to the La Center landscape for the benefit of the community and the environment alike. The City of La Center needed to expand its wastewater treatment capacity to meet the needs of its growing community including, improving performance and water quality – all on a highly visible 0.75 acre site. The innovative design and architectural features have been recognized by the Association of Civil Engineers; Oregon and Washington Chapters – Receiving a Silver Award in Washington State for “Future Value” to the Engineering Profession and Perception by the Public.

The expansion increased capacity from 1 to 3 million gallons per day (easily expandable to 6 mgd in the future). The budget for design and construction of the upgrade was estimated to cost $13,700,000. Actual costs to complete the construction were $12,568,936. The expansion was funded through a 20-year, 0.5% loan from the Washington Public Works Trust Fund.

The new facility uses an advanced Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) technology. This system provides improved environmental performance and economy in construction and maintenance costs.

Energy Savings

Relocating and upgrading the headworks allowed for mitigation of odors and improved visual impacts. This allowed for the conversion of the influent to be over 80% gravity instead of 100% pumped. Using gravity flow for permeating from the new MBR system is one of the many innovative features of this expanded facility.

Potable Water Savings

By installing a “reuse” utility water system the cost of potable water was reduced by 90% or approximately $15,000 annually. This reduced the demand of potable water at the site for irrigation, wash-down, and solids drying by 7 million gallons per year.

Natural Gas Savings

By installing a new dewatering system, solids drying operation was reduced by 50% or approximately $60,000 annually.

Under Budget

Construction was completed approximately $900,000 under the budget estimate.

Energy Rebate

The City is being considered for an energy rebate of up to $319,000.

Sustainable Construction

Design and construction reused every structure and building at the existing plant, helping keep the overall costs of the project low and reducing impacts to the environment. The process basins were constructed in the existing SBR basin, the other SBR tank was converted to an aerated solids storage basin. The SBR control room was converted to the UV disinfection and utility water pump room, the equalization basin was converted for utility water storage, the filter building was converted to a plant electrical and control building with office and meeting rooms.

Sustainable Bi-Products

The facility produces a “Class A” biosolid which is reused as a soil amendment at Lewis River Reforestation in Woodland Washington to grow evergreen tree seedlings.

Socially Acceptable

Many architectural features and elements were constructed to complement the adjacent high quality wetland and entrance to the City. Noise and odor impacts were significantly reduced.

Future Value

Maximizing usable space, reusing existing facilities and incorporation of state-of-the-art technology is an example of how the project was constructed for under $10 per gallon of capacity.

Contact Our Team

Public Works & Community Development Director, BSCE, MBA, Tracy Coleman
Wastewater Supervisor, Jay Favor
Wastewater Operator, Bill Birdwell
Wastewater Operator, Emery Oldham
Wastewater, after hours, immediate emergency only, on call number, 360-356-8246