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Recycled water use at 60 Acres Park in Redmond brings relief to salmon, Sammamish River

Summary

In a win for the drought-stressed Sammamish River, King County’s Brightwater Treatment Plant is providing the Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association (LWYSA) with high-quality recycled water to keep sports fields lush and green at 60 Acres Park in Redmond.

Story

The 2015 drought is no match for the Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association.

Serious about ending reliance on the salmon-bearing Sammamish River for irrigation, the association is now keeping playfields green with recycled water produced at King County’s Brightwater Treatment Plant.

Under an agreement reached last month, King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division is providing LWYSA with up to 8 million gallons of recycled water through a temporary connection to a dedicated pipeline that carries recycled water from the Brightwater plant north of Woodinville to Redmond through the Sammamish Valley. The County is working to set up a permanent connection in 2016. 

“Our recycled water provides a reliable, drought-proof, sustainable source of water for farmers, industries, and parks,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine while touring the site this month. “It conserves drinking water for residents and keeps water in local rivers and streams for our iconic salmon.”

By tapping into this resource, LWYSA is keeping critically needed stream flow for migrating salmon in the Sammamish River. LWYSA provides organized soccer services to approximately 7,000 children in the area.

"It's important that we are stewards of the environment and lead by example. The Sammamish River serves as a vital habitat for salmon and other wildlife,” said Douglas Bean, LWYSA President. “During this time of reduced flow and higher water temperature we thought it important to take these measures to ensure sustainability of the river.  We encourage other businesses to follow our example. Tapping into the recycled water system is an affordable way to benefit both youth sports and the environment."

“Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association is setting a terrific example for water resource management for our region,” said King County Wastewater Treatment Division Director Pam Elardo. “Recycled water is the right water for the right use. It’s a drought-proof source of water that doesn’t impact our rivers and streams.”

LWYSA leases 60 Acres Park from King County Parks for its youth soccer program.

“We’re delighted that Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association is using recycled water to irrigate soccer fields at 60 Acres Park,” said Parks Director Kevin Brown. “King County Parks is committed to using water efficiently and managing our lands to benefit people and wildlife. Recycled water is a great resource for us to keep the fields lush and green while preserving flow for fish and wildlife.”

Recycled water, known as reclaimed water, is strictly regulated by the state Department of Ecology to ensure safety. As with lake or river water, recycled water is safe for human contact as well as irrigation on sports fields and even edible crops, but it’s not approved for drinking. Recycled water is distributed through a separate set of purple pipes to guarantee it will not be mixed with certified drinking water supplies.

King County has been safely producing and distributing recycled water from its treatment plants for more than 20 years. Other King County recycled water customers include Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila where the Seattle Sounders practice, and the Willows Run Golf Course in Redmond, which is one of the only certified Salmon Safe golf courses in the Northwest.

City of Kirkland is the latest addition to King County’s list of recycled water customers.

Under a joint agreement signed earlier this month, city workers will have access to a truck filling station at King County’s York Pump Station in Redmond.

Workers will use trucks to transport the recycled water to locations where it can be used for non-drinking purposes such as street sweeping and tree irrigation.

Additional information is available at www.kingcounty.gov/recycledwater.