Year in Review: Birch Bay Water and Sewer District

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The Birch Bay Water and Sewer District (BBWSD) began 2019 still repairing our Wastewater Lift Station #6, which was damaged during the prior month’s King Tide event. BBWSD applied for and was reimbursed by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds for costs related to the disaster response and to repair the lift station.

In 2019, BBWSD launched its Automated Meter Reading project, installing over 1,000 radio-read meters to date, which is about 20 percent of the service area. The new meters promote water conservation and provide BBWSD with improved regional hydrologic models. The project is funded through a Public Works Trust Fund loan, which offers favorable terms to the benefit of our ratepayers.

In June, BBWSD received an award from the Washington State Department of Ecology for “Wastewater Treatment Plant Outstanding Performance 2018.” This recognizes full compliance with national discharge requirements. It was BBWSD’s ninth consecutive and 16th total award. Birch Bay is one of only two wastewater plants in Whatcom County that have won the award this many times. On the drinking water side, BBWSD continues to meet or exceed Department of Health water quality requirements.

BBWSD coordinated water service relocations on Holeman Avenue and Birch Bay Drive with the Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management District’s stormwater project. This coordination resulted in cost savings to the ratepayers.

BBWSD thanks commissioner Patrick Alesse, who served since 1997. Mr. Alesse’s input on the board of commissioners advocated smart growth and kept the district’s ratepayers in mind.

Looking ahead, BBWSD is in the process of completing its comprehensive plan for the next 20 years, focused on long-term planning. We welcome commissioner Fred Reid this month and look forward to his contributions.

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