This $140 million, award-winning clean water facility replaces the City’s aging facilities with an innovative treatment process that accelerates nature’s normal decomposition process, resulting in clean water effluent into a nearby bay and reusable biosolids that can be used as fertilizer, thereby avoiding a trip to the landfill.

Why does this project matter?

The wastewater treatment system better serves the needs of the Oak Harbor community and protects the health of Puget Sound with effluent that exceeds the Washington State Department of Ecology standards for low nutrient levels. The result is a cleaner habitat for orcas, seals, blue herons, and many other species that call the Sound home.

What is ESA doing to help?

As a subconsultant to Carollo Engineers, ESA provided environmental support of the project, from the initial alternative site screening through project completion. ESA prepared environmental documentation in accordance with SEPA and the State Environmental Review Process (SERP), as Centennial Clean Water Funds were awarded for the project. Our staff authored the federal, state, and local permits, as well as the supporting documentation, for the project. Permits and approvals included:
• Section 404
• Section 401
• Hydraulic Project Approval
• Aquatic Lands Lease
• Critical Areas Report and Mitigation Plan

Outfall construction was completed in 2015, and the Clean Water Facility has been operational since 2018.

Visit for more details about the project and to watch a time-lapse video of its construction.

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