As the former Harbor Paper cleanup continues, over the next three weeks, the Grays Harbor PUD will pump over 28-million gallons of treated water from holding basins at the site into the City of Hoquiam’s sewage treatment system.
Working with the city, 775 feet of pipe is connecting the facility with the city’s sanitary sewer system and water will be pumped into the city’s treatment system for disposal.
“We are grateful to the City of Hoquiam for their assistance in helping the PUD move forward with its responsibilities at the Harbor Paper site,” said PUD General Manager Dave Ward. “We have a responsibility to clean our share of the site, but our first responsibility is to our ratepayers, to ensure that the project is completed at the lowest possible cost. With the help of the city, we are meeting both obligations.”
The 28.25 million gallons represent the last water to be treated at the Harbor Paper facility. Before power was cut to the site in September, the system was flushed to remove any organic materials. The water is held in a basin and test by the city show that it is essentially free of contaminants.
The water removal is the first significant step in the PUD’s clean-up of products accumulated over the past 20 years of paper production. Under its agreement with Rayonier, who own the land, the PUD is obligated to clean and remove the water treatment system and remove solid bi-products including piles of bark/rock mixture, sand ash and other materials.
The PUD tells KXRO that they are working to fulfill those responsibilities while having the least possible impact on the PUD’s customers.