Water Resource Recovery Facility Spotlight - City of Coeur d’Alene’s Coeur d’Green Composting Facility

Resource Recovery in Action: City of Coeur d’Alene’s Coeur d’GreenTM Composting Facility turns municipal biosolids into nutrient-rich soil amendment.

The City of Coeur d’Alene has been a pioneer in the wastewater treatment industry since 1939, when it’s 10,000 residents passed a bond to build one of the first secondary wastewater treatment plants in the Northwest (for a whopping $140,000!). Then, in 1989, the City again demonstrated its pioneering efforts in resource recovery with the construction of a composting facility that converts biosolids from the City’s wastewater treatment facility into a high-quality soil amendment using the aerated static pile composting method. The Class A Exceptional Quality product has been affectionately coined Coeur d’GreenTM compost and is unrestricted for horticultural uses. Since 1989, the composting facility has gone through many upgrades to improve operations and the quality of the end product, including covered wood chip storage, added bays for aerated curing, and upgraded conveying, mixing, and screening equipment. Figure 1 below is a schematic of the current composting process.

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Oregon Region Excellence in Service Award Winner

Hank Erbele

Hank Erbele has been awarded the 2021 PNCWA Oregon Region Excellence in Service Award, which recognizes those who have given truly outstanding service in one or more of the following aspects of the water quality industry: providing leadership in Section, Region, or Member Associations, delivering conference teaching, and impacting operator training, including the development of training courses that advance the knowledge of water quality operators. Hank has served in various leadership roles in the Oregon Region and Oregon’s West Central Operators Section for about 20 years. Congratulations, Hank!

RSJ Subcommittee Newsletter - Jan 2022

The Racial & Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee January newsletter focuses on environmental justice. The newsletter’s goal is to highlight diversity, equity, and inclusion projects and collect multimedia resources and book recommendations to advance learning and awareness of history, perspective, and action for environmental, racial, economic, and social justice.

The subcommittee welcomes your suggestions for content, such as educational materials (i.e. essays, books, podcasts, etc.); membership organization RSJ/DEI program (i.e. agencies, consulting firms); projects with RSJ elements; and volunteer opportunities. Email Frank Dick with your ideas and suggestions.

Member Spotlight: Richard Finger

richard finger

The Member Services Committee is excited to promote our amazing volunteers in our section of the monthly digest. If you know someone we should feature in the “Member Spotlight,” send an email to committee Vice Chair Jen Murphy. For our next spotlight, we would like to introduce you to Richard Finger. Take it away, Richard.

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Water Resource Recovery Facility Spotlight — Spokane County Regional Water Reclamation Facility


In the 1970s, Spokane County noticed that septic tanks in the area posed a threat to the Spokane Valley Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer, especially as urban growth increased in the Spokane Valley. This aquifer is the primary source of drinking water for Spokane County, Washington and Kootenai County, Idaho. So, in the 1980s, the County led an effort to install sewers throughout urbanized areas of Spokane County, eliminate septic systems, and connect homes and businesses to a centralized sewer system. During that effort, all regional wastewater was treated at the City of Spokane’s Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility.

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Leadership Committee Update


The leadership committee will be hosting open discussions of relevant and interesting leadership-related ideas each quarter. These sessions, which will be held virtually via Teams, are open to any PNCWA member. The topic and date for each quarter session will be announced in the PNCWA Digest. If you are interested in joining any of the sessions, please contact Ana Arango at [email protected].

First Session:
Join us on February 14, 2022 for an open discussion on Margaret Heffernan’s TED Talk, “Dare to Disagree.”

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Emerging Technologies Committee Webinar

emerging tech smartcover

Advances in sensor technology have made it more accurate and cost-effective to reduce or prevent overflows by remotely monitoring collection systems. With increasingly powerful analytical capabilities, these sensors and accompanying software use parameters like flow, sewer levels, and weather data to help sewer system operators predict and manage infiltration and inflow (I&I) more reliably than ever before.

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President's Message January 2022

Rob LeeHappy New Year! When the calendar changes from December 31 to January 1, the earth rotates 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds, just like every other day. But, for many of us, the new year is a sign of new beginnings.

The water industry is facing such tremendous challenges. COVID variants, climate change, worker shortages, supply chain issues, silver tsunami of retirees, increasing rural-urban divides, racial injustice, lack of equal access to sanitation and clean water, and the list goes on. Yet, in the midst of these challenges, there is a spark of hope. This spark is each and every one of you who raise your hand, refusing to be simply carried along by the challenges, but who instead plant your feet and take those challenges head on. You all are the spark that spurs on others, creating a chance for change.

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Member Spotlight: Erica Haide

erica haide

The Member Services Committee is excited to promote our amazing volunteers in our section of the monthly digest. If you know someone we should feature in the “Member Spotlight,” send an email to committee Vice Chair Jen Murphy. For our next spotlight, we would like to introduce you to Erica Haide. Take it away, Erica.

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President's Message December 2021

Rob LeeChristmas. Hanukkah. Kwanzaa. Rohatsu. All of these holidays celebrate the strength of the human spirit in the midst of trials and tribulations. They remind us of the hope that is possible for the future and that, by joining with others, there can be something greater than our own individual lives. This is the time of year to pause, reflect, and celebrate.

For those of us in the water industry here in the Pacific Northwest, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. We have made tremendous progress in creating awareness of the importance and interconnectivity of our water resources, more funding is headed our way to inject much-needed investment into our aging infrastructure, and the past year has brought a greater understanding of the impact that infrastructure has on social justice and equity.

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Save the Date: Stormwater Learning Hour

Stormwater Learning Hour

***UPDATE: click here to register*** Please save the date for the Stormwater Committee’s next learning hour on Wednesday, January 26 at 12 p.m. PDT. Kaela Mansfield and Kevin Flanagan with Osborn Consulting will present on the West Plains Stormwater Action Plan completed for the rapidly developing West Plains area near Spokane, Washington. The study addressed the question of whether regional stormwater planning can be a catalyst for growth by blurring the interface between public and private stormwater management. The presentation will cover an approach to creating beneficial management strategies that incentivize developers to maximize their footprint by paying stormwater fees for off-site stormwater treatment. A sign-up link will be provided in the January PNCWA digital digest.

Save the Date: Emerging Technologies Webinar in March


One of the latest technologies that’s gaining interest, and which was recently introduced at the 2021 annual conference, uses sludge as a resource. Called pyrolysis, this process is typically used to transform woody biomass into fuels, soil amendments, and filtration media, but could be a potential alternative to sludge disposal.

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Government Affairs Committee Update Dec 2021

gov't updateSave the date for the Watershed-Based Water Quality Management webinar, which will be held January 25-26, 2022.

The White House released updated state and territory fact sheets that highlight the nationwide impact of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century. The fact sheets detail how the historic legislation will allow states and territories across the country to repair roads and bridges, improve transportation options, build a network of electric vehicles (EV) chargers to accelerate the adoption of EVs, help connect every American to reliable high-speed internet, eliminate the nation’s lead service lines and pipes for clean drinking water, protect against extreme weather events and cyberattacks, and improve our nation’s airports. You can download the fact sheets by state here: Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

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Message from the 2022 Conference Chairs


A Message from Vicky Hollingsworth, PNCWA 2022 Conference Chair

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PNCWA2021 Donations


The PNCWA 2021 Conference undoubtedly made several changes in how we chose to meet. One of the most notable ways the conference evolved was by reallocating the money spent on attendee swag, which often has a high carbon footprint. Instead, we asked attendees to select one of these worthy causes to give the money to:

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RSJ Subcommittee Dec 2021 Update

The Racial & Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee will be collecting information on current diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) practices that our member associations are implementing. Keep your eyes out for a short survey from the subcommittee in the coming weeks. The next RSJ newsletter is planned for the new year. The subcommittee welcomes your suggestions for content, such as educational materials (i.e. essays, books, podcasts, etc.), membership organization RSJ/DEI programs (i.e. agencies, consulting firms), projects with RSJ elements, and volunteer opportunities. Email Frank Dick with your ideas and suggestions at [email protected].

Get the Word Out on Adopt-a-School


Share this image and message on Facebook or Instagram. Help us increase our reach by tagging a teacher or your kids’ schools.

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President's Message November 2021

Rob Lee

During this time of year, I’m reminded of the importance of being thankful — or “aware and appreciative of a benefit,” as it’s defined.

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PNCWA2022 Call for Committee Collaborators

Join us as a key member of the 2022 conference committee to continue shaping the future of our annual conference.

conference pictures

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Another Successful Communications Camp

Comms Camp 2021

On October 28, 2021, the Communications and Outreach Committee held its annual communications camp, a one-day specialty conference focused on communications skills, in Springfield, Oregon. This year’s event was a big success, with 13 campers in attendance and a mix of virtual and in-person presenters. Proceeds from the camp help fund PNCWA’s Adopt-a-School grant program.

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