City Accepts Funding for Wastewater Study

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The city of Hermiston will soon begin work to analyze alternatives to increasing wastewater capacity in the Southern Industrial Region of the city, thanks to a $29,750 grant from the Oregon Infrastructure Finance Authority.

The South Hermiston-Regional Assessment of Industrial Sewer Expansion (RAISE) project is intended to identify barriers to industrial development caused by limited wastewater capacity.

Hermiston’s Southern Industrial Region represents the highest potential for large-scale industrial job creation in the area, and is highlighted by a 282-acre parcel which has been certified as “Shovel Ready” by the Oregon Business Development Department. This designation means that a development site could be ready for construction within six months for certain industry types.

“The challenge with the ‘Shovel Ready’designation is that not all industries are created equal,” said Hermiston Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan. “While we have a ‘Shovel Ready’ site, it’s only certified for industries that are low water and wastewater intensive. This study will help us identify how we might go about increasing wastewater capacity there so that we can quickly accommodate a large user if one comes along.”

The study will look at several options to increasing capacity in southern Hermiston including expansion of several sections of piping, and identification of sites for potential pre-treatment facilities in the future. The city of Hermiston’s contribution to the study will be $5,250.

“This study will allow us to logically plan for expanding crucial infrastructure so that we can quickly accommodate the needs of private sector investment and create jobs,” Morgan said, “but without the assistance from IFA, I don’t think we would have been able to get this project off the ground.”