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Wastewater Division

Wastewater Treatment Plant

The City of Leavenworth’s Wastewater Treatment Plant recycles approximately 250,000 – 550,000 gallons of wastewater a day.

The facility is allowed to discharge treated water into the River through a permit granted by the Washington State Department of Ecology. We must comply with many local, state and federal regulations, which define standards for our effluent.

We consistently produce high-quality effluent and have won several awards for operations and maintenance excellence and beneficial use of remaining bio solids. The facility also routinely passes multiple inspections required by the Department of Ecology.

The City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant can handle peak flows up to 1.2 million gallons a day, and runs that wastewater through a number of processing steps.

We continuously monitor all aspects of the plant’s operations to ensure proper processing of wastewater. We take samples of the water multiple times a day, and analyze them in our lab to keep things running smoothly.

The City of Leavenworth is in the process of a major treatment plant upgrade. This upgrade entails the removal of phosphorous from the water before it is discharged into the Wenatchee River. The expectation for the completion of this upgrade will be in the summer of 2021.

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) Program

When FOG enters a sanitary sewer line, it solidifies and collects along the walls of pipes restricting or clogging wastewater flow. This can result in backups in homes and businesses or an overflow somewhere else (like the backyard or a parking lot).

The purpose of the FOG program is to pretreat the water going down the drain (or, really, catch as much FOG as possible before going down the drain), so that the sewer pipes don’t get clogged, causing spills or backups. The prevention of this is important for both commercial kitchens and residential kitchens. However, due to the volume of FOG created by commercial kitchens, grease traps or interceptors must be installed, used continuously and effectively, and maintained.

To ensure compliance with pretreatment, the city’s FOG inspector regularly visits food service establishments. The FOG inspector is looking for a posted record of maintenance and a clean grease trap. Grease traps should be cleaned on a regular schedule that keeps the FOG less than 25% of the grease trap capacity.

Remember, it’s much easier and less expensive to prevent FOG problems than to pay for their clean-up.

Disposable Doesn’t Mean Flushable

One small thing that everyone can help with is to remember that disposable does not mean flushable. This is particularly important to remember for “flushable” wipes. Wipes do not disintegrate like toilet paper and they often make it past the screening equipment at the wastewater treatment plant clogging pumps and damaging equipment. So please, if it’s not toilet paper, don’t flush it!

For more information on grease traps (including a cleaning record template), what’s not flushable, and other ways to help keep your wastewater pipes functioning, check out our document portal here and search for “FOG” to find our general information documents. 

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