Early this morning the U.S. Senate passed Sen. Maria Cantwell’s (D-Wash.) and Rep. Adam Smith’s (D-Wash.) Lakehaven Water Reclamation legislation which will improve the capacity and reliability of wastewater systems in south King County and parts of Pierce County.  The legislation is headed to the President’s desk for signature.

“The Lakehaven Water Reclamation legislation takes a critical step toward solving the wastewater infrastructure needs of south King County and parts of Pierce County,” Cantwell, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said.  “This bill is about protecting our water supply and supporting a long term solution for waste water treatment.”

“The Lakehaven legislation is good for the environment and good for efficiency,” Smith, ranking member of the Water and Power Subcommittee of the House Resources Committee, said.  “Currently six million gallons of treated waste water are discharged into the Puget Sound.  After this bill becomes law, the Lakehaven district will be able to recapture that water and use some of it for irrigation and some will be returned to the aquifer, easing the demand on our groundwater.”

This legislation authorizes the construction of additional treatment systems at the Lakehaven Utility District’s wastewater treatment plants, distribution systems to transport water to the reuse areas, and systems to direct water back to the aquifer system.  The improvements will help maintain stream levels during droughts and recharge the aquifers without using additional surface water.  

Lakehaven Utility District is one of Washington state's largest water and sewer utilities providing 10.5 million gallons of water a day to over 100,000 residents.  It is located in south King County and encompasses the city of Federal Way and portions of Des Moines, Kent, Auburn, Pacific, Algona, Milton, unincorporated King County and unincorporated Pierce County.  The demand for water from these sources has increased to a point that the district may soon exceed safe water production limits. It has also resulted in the reduction of water levels in all local aquifers.