Residents want pump station moved away from Dyes Inlet

SILVERDALE — Pump stations are rarely front page news — that is, until one isn’t working properly — and upgrades and changes proposed by local or county governments rarely draw much attention from residents.

However, when one is in as visible a location as pump station 3 in Silverdale, on the waterfront in Old Town, the county took the additional step of soliciting public comment both online and in a forum on July 26.

This Kitsap County Department of Public Works project is still in its preliminary stages — the expected construction start date at the moment is May 2020 — and is part of a larger undertaking to also upgrade pump stations 4 and 19 and rebuild pump station 31. Conveyance systems will also upgrade outdated piping and increase capacity.

But prominent pump station 3 was the focus of the July 26 hearing. It was constructed in 1981 on a site that was previously a sewage treatment plant. There were some improvements to it in 2005, but it needs to be expanded to accomodate future sewage growth.

“At this point, the station is limited in its capacity,” Barbara Zaroff, the project’s manager, said. “It’s pretty much at capacity now.”

Aside from improving capacity, the project would include improving the reliability and performance of the pump station by replacing and upgrading the electrical system, motors, drives and instrumentation.

One of the major talking points of the forum was the possibility of relocating the pump station away from the waterfront to a location farther north, or across Washington Street to the east to give residents a clear walking path along Dyes Inlet. This would involve dealing with either the county or the Port of Silverdale, which own the surrounding land.

Moving the pump station also came under consideration during conceptual design of another project at Bay Shore Drive and Washington Street, which involves upgrading the pipes there.

Although the current proposal does not move the pump station, Zaroff said project workers would still consider the idea. It would likely, however, be more costly than simply upgrading the pump station in place.

“This is an interdependent network, and it was fixed in place a long time ago by this network of sewage pump station that we have now,” Zaroff said.

Engineers have also been working to design a building that blends in to the surrounding area, such as those found in Snohomish and Gig Harbor. It could perhaps function as a sort of community billboard where residents and organizations can post flyers and notices.

“We really want our facility to blend in to what’s going on,” Zaroff said.

— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at mkrulish@soundpublish