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National Park to use surface water for PA when dams are demolished

Peninsula News Network


Port Angeles, WA - The National Park Service says it will depend on treated surface water to serve the residents and industries of Port Angeles after the Elwha River dams are torn down.

That’s one of the major points contained in documents released Tuesday as supplements to the environmental impact statement for the Elwha River Restoration Act. The supplemental EIS was prepared to reflect changes in fisheries and water quality rules since the original impact statement was written in the mid-90s.

Under the preferred alternative water for both industrial and residential uses in Port Angeles would come from “surface water” sources on the river, run through an expensive new water treatment plant. Originally there had been talk of using infiltration galleries, but the latest report finds a surface water source would be more reliable and cost effective. The new city treatment plant would be built near the Port Angeles landfill.

The plan also explains how the existing levee on the lower river would be raised and strengthened to preserve some measure of flood control for the Lower Elwha Reservation. The Park Service says on-site septic systems on the reservation will have to be replaced, and because the Klallam Tribe and the city have been unable to reach agreement on hooking up to the Port Angeles system, the Park Service says development of a community wastewater system on the reservation is the better approach.

Now that the supplemental review has been completed, its expected the feds will proceed with designing the actual water treatment system, which must be ready before dam removal can begin.


Final Elwha environmental statement released

December 1st, 2005 - KONP News

(Port Angeles) -- The National Park Service has released updates to the Elwha River dam removal project. The changes outline water quality issues and flood protection and come in the release of the final environmental impact statement on the project. Among other things: The park service agrees to building a water treatment facility at the industrial treatment channel on the river. It will also build a permanent water treatment facility at the Port Angeles landfill. The city of Port Angeles gets its water from the Elwha river and there's been concern sediment coming from removal of the two dams would cause damage. The park service also agrees to raise the levee more than three feet to protect homes near the mouth of the Elwha and the Lower Elwha Fish Hatchery will be relocated. The changes were prompted mostly by changes in state water regulations.



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