There is no shortage of innovation in sewage and wastewater treatment plants in the western regions of the United States.
In Washington State, Oregon, and California, some wastewater treatment facilities have taken a bold move and converted their concrete tanks and pipes into world-class nature resorts complete with education centers, hiking trails, pristine gardens, and wedding venue allure.
This is a bid to provide a better service to the communities they serve, rather than spend millions of tax-payer dollars to give the ability to flush toilets.
World Crunch reports:
Historically, utilities often built their wastewater treatment plants in poor neighborhoods or out-of-the-way places because it was assumed the public didn’t want to think about sewage.
Rather than repeat that practice, East Valley set out to design the new plant as an asset for the community, says John Mura, the district’s general manager, and chief executive. He believes the $140-million investment in the treatment plant is buying not just a sewage processing factory but a catalyst for community improvement.
“It could have gone controversial,” says Mura. “But we had a community that was highly supportive of this. Instead of building something that you’re trying to hide behind walls, we’re actually going to make it the crown jewel of the community.”
The success has mainly been seen in wealthier communities, but San Bernadino in California is set to try out the idea in a much lower economic status area.
They hope that their new wastewater treatment resort will promote careers in the wastewater field, provide the community with education, and give people a chance to enjoy the benefits of seeing where their wastewater goes.