State honors regional sewer partnership for smart growth planning
Discovery Clean Water Alliance to provide infrastructure for economic expansion
Pete Capell, Public Works
Vancouver, WA – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has recognized Clark County, Clark Regional Wastewater District and the cities of Battle Ground and Ridgefield for working cooperatively to create a regional sewage alliance.
The four partners were among winners of the Governor’s Smart Communities Awards, which were announced earlier this month. The program honors local leaders who embrace smart growth through projects that contribute to an enhanced quality of life.
The Discovery Clean Water Alliance promotes efficiency by enabling the partners to more effectively use their consolidated sewer capacity and share some costs for future expansions. A regional approach is expected to shield ratepayers from rate spikes that are sometimes necessary to pay for big construction projects.
Infrastructure projects to serve employment lands should be built faster and at less cost. An example is the Discovery Corridor Wastewater Transmission System along Interstate 5 in north Clark County. The cooperative effort between Clark Regional Wastewater District and the city of Ridgefield has potential to encourage development of multiple employment centers and support the creation of thousands of jobs.
The Discovery Clean Water Alliance is a joint municipal utility services entity under Washington law. The alliance does not replace existing sewer providers but instead regionalizes major sewer lines and wastewater treatment plans, thereby eliminating duplicative facilities and improving efficiency for customers.
Clark Regional Wastewater District, Battle Ground and Ridgefield will pay their proportional share of sewage conveyance and treatment costs, based on actual flows. The alliance is governed by a four-person board of directors consisting of one elected official from each partner.