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Making projects sustainable, resilient, and equitable

By September 15, 2021June 13th, 2023No Comments

King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) is being recognized for its commitment to sustainable communities and the environment. WTD’s Sunset / Heathfield Pump Stations and force main upgrade project was awarded an Envision® Silver Award this month for project sustainability.

This is the second Envision-certified project for the region’s wastewater utility. In 2018, King County’s Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station earned a “Platinum” rating.

Green roof at Sunset Pump Station
Green roof at the Sunset Pump Station

According to Envision®, its purpose is, “…to foster a dramatic and necessary improvement in the sustainable performance and resiliency of infrastructure. (King County’s) significant achievement indicates that the Sunset/Heathfield Pump Station and Force main Upgrade project has gone above and beyond to deliver improvements in the social, economic, and environmental conditions of its community.”

The sustainability achievements contributing to the award include: 

  • Protecting the natural world – by restoring habitat, maintaining floodplain water quality, preserving undeveloped land, using only native vegetation, and removing invasive species.
  • Involving stakeholders and responding to their needs – by surveying more than 250 neighbors and community members during design so the project team could learn about their ideas and concerns. Community input is reflected in the final design.
  • Implementing a robust sustainability management system – by requesting manufacturers submit sustainability policies to ensure supply chain sustainability; requiring an internal sustainability scorecard; and developing an equity plan for the project.
  • Improving public health and safety – by enhancing the continued reliability of the sewage treatment system and installing a new technology that will reduce pipe corrosion and extend the life of odor control.
  • Contributing to local skills development – by providing nearby residents with education and job training during construction; identifying opportunities for small/minority/women-owned businesses and to encourage priority hiring; and requiring the contractor to hire one in five apprentices from a state-recognized pre-apprenticeship program that serves minorities, women, and other workers facing significant employment barriers.

“This important infrastructure investment allows us to continue to serve our community, protecting public health and the environment,” said Kamuron Gurol, WTD Division Director. “We’re dedicated to developing a diverse workforce, committed to equitable and sustainable construction practices and appreciate the recognition of our practices in this award.”

To learn how the project team worked with the community and stakeholders to achieve the requisite project goals, you can read the Envision Project Profile announcement. For more information and project milestones, visit the Sunset Heathfield Pump Stations and force main upgrade project page.