Year in Review 2017: Birch Bay Water and Sewer District

By Dan Eisses, P.E. general manager

In 2017, the district welcomed new commissioner Jeff Benner, who brings a background of process engineering. Commissioner Carl Reichhardt retired with nearly 40 years of service to the district.

The district completed two major capital improvement projects in 2017. First, the aging waterline on Blaine Road was replaced. Second, the district continued to work to secure future water supply with the North County Interbasin project funded through the DOE and partnering with the city. The grant funded project drilled three exploratory wells in the deep water aquifer east of Blaine.

The district implemented an email bill option so that customers can receive their bill through email if they want. The district continued collaboration with the Community Assistance Program of Blaine
to offer assistance to customers.

The district won its eighth consecutive (15th total) Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Outstanding Performance Award for 2016 by the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE). Birch Bay is one of only two wastewater plants in Whatcom County serving 4,000 people or more that have won the award 15 or more times in the last 20 years.

The district continued promoting a regional water conservation approach and met with other local government water purveyors to coordinate conservation activities. The district continued supporting the voluntary odd-even watering schedule to reduce summer outdoor water. In 2018, the district will celebrate 50 years of service in Birch Bay. A few of the capital projects for next year include sandblasting and recoating the Wastewater Treatment plant clarifiers as well as investing in automated water meter reading equipment.

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