Cook Inlet Clean Water
Calling for an upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant in Anchorage.
COOK INLET CLEAN WATER
All of the wastewater from Anchorage goes to the John M. Asplud Wastewater Treatment Facility in Point Woronzof where only the largest solids are filtered out of the water before it gets primary (or minimal) treatment and is discharged into Cook Inlet.
Yes, that's right. Primary treatment only! The Point Woronzof facility has a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that allows it to discharged minimally treated wastewater into Cook Inlet.
This wastewater disposed through a pipe in the bluffs at Point Woronzof currently accounts for the third largest point source discharge site in the state. The cumulative effect of the wastewater on the Cook Inlet remains an unknown due to the Inlet's siltiness and strong tides.
ACE believes the Point Woronzof wastewater facility needs an upgrade.
Currently, the facility is one of only a handful nationwide receiving a waiver allowing primary treatment of wastewater under the Clean Water Act. Since Anchorage is a growing city in a pristine environment, within a state economy reliant in large part on natural resources contingent on the health of the Cook Inlet, it is vital that our municipality create and manage its waste responsibly. Several funding options may exist for upgrading the treatment, especially if waste is routed creatively (ie toward energy production). Other cities nationwide have successfully upgraded their facility, at a reduced cost to the ratepayer.
For more background on why it is important to upgrade Anchorage's wastewater treatment facility, download this document.
What You Can Do: To stay up-to-date on this issue, send an e-mail to Alli with the subject " We Need an Upgrade!"
ACE also recognizes the importance of managing Anchorage's freshwater supply before it ever becomes 'waste' water. To learn more about water issues in Anchorage, and what you can do to reduce your water consumption, visit the Anchorage Wastewater Council website.
Additionally, we support the Cook Inletkeeper, an organization whose mission it is to protect the Cook Inlet watershed and the life it contains. Visit their website to learn more about the watershed and catch up on the latest news.