The construction work for this project is complete and the project improvements are fully in use. However, the District continues to work with the contractor to trouble-shoot an issue associated with the standby generator unit. This trouble-shooting has required a few work-days over the last several months with lengthy generator run times with the sound-attenuated doors fully open for engine observation. This is not a usual operating condition. The District will normally operate the generator for weekly exercising and when the power service may be out to due to stormy weather with doors fully closed for the benefit of sound attenuation.
We anticipate there will be some additional days of this type of testing until we identify a remedy to the issue. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding for these instances where we may disrupt the serenity of your neighborhood. We will do our best to minimize disturbance.
Project Summary (Project No. 1802-EUC)
The Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District was originally formed in 1968 to replace individual septic systems in the Geneva community with a comprehensive sewage collection and conveyance system due to degradation of Lake Whatcom water quality from septic systems. Since then, the District’s sewer system has expanded to serve Sudden Valley, as well as much of the development on the north shore of Lake Whatcom outside of Bellingham city limits. The District’s sewage collection and conveyance system serves approximately 4,400 connections and is comprised of approximately 75 miles of sewer main and 28 lift stations that pump sewage generated in the District out the Lake Whatcom Watershed for treatment at the City of Bellingham’s Post Point wastewater treatment plant located in Fairhaven.
To proactively ensure the effective operation of its 28 sewer lift stations, the District systematically completes upgrades to each lift station every 20-25 years (i.e., one to two lift stations are upgraded annually). The District’s Euclid sewer lift station, located along Euclid Avenue adjacent to Lake Whatcom and immediately north of Euclid Park, was originally constructed in 1974 and most recently upgraded in 1999. In 2018, the District identified additional improvements to the lift station necessary to ensure its effective operation: replacement of existing facility control systems to better communicate with the District’s supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system that controls all sewer utility systems, construction of a shelter over the control system components to better protect them from the weather, and installation of permanent stationary generator to ensure facility operation during power outages.
Task 1—Design and Permitting
In 2018, the District executed a professional services agreement with RH2 Engineering of Bellingham to assist with design and permitting of the anticipated improvements to the lift station (to gain cost efficiencies through economies of scale, the agreement also provided for design and permitting of improvements to the District’s Dellesta and Edgewater lift stations, which were upgraded in 2021). Permitting was completed through Whatcom County, with a hearing on the Project’s shoreline substantial development shoreline variance held before a Whatcom County hearing examiner on January 29, 2020; the hearing examiner’s decision approving the project was issued on February 4, 2020.
The project was publicly bid following Washington public works contracting requirements, with award to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder made to Colacurcio Brothers, Inc. by the District Board of Commissioners during its regularly scheduled meeting on March 9, 2022. To mitigate escalated costs due to potential risk created by supply chain issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the District allowed a longer than normal period of performance. Between limitations created by the Lake Whatcom land disturbance period (land disturbance greater than 500 square feet may only be completed between June 1 and October 1 of each year) and long lead times associated with delivery of the standby generator, minimal site work was completed in 2022.
Task 1—Design and Permitting—complete—2018-2021
Task 2—Construction—underway—nearing completion (anticipated in February 2024)
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Other Reference Materials
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