in Pasco, WA
Pasco, with a population of about 60,000, is the seat of Franklin County in southeastern Washington. The county enjoys a diverse economy, with a thriving agricultural sector that accounts for over a fifth of its employment. In addition to a municipal water system that treats urban sewage, local food processors release agricultural wastewater that is treated separately at the city’s Process Water Reuse Facility (PWRF) before being reused to irrigate crops.
The water arrives at the PWRF loaded with nitrogen and requires denitrification so it can be returned safely to the soil. In recent years, Pasco’s aging PWRF has reached the limit of its ability to handle the existing workload, and new processors to the area, Darigold for example, are also interested in using the facility. The proposed Darigold milk-drying plant would be the largest of its kind in North America, creating 200 new plant jobs and over a thousand in related industries.
“People cannot believe the amount of water that gets sent to our facility. With the new facilities in the city of Pasco, we’re talking about
1.5 billion gallons of industrially processed water.”
Environmental Compliance Coordinator, City of Pasco
PICTURED: Tri Cities, Washington
PHOTO CREDIT: WA Dept. of Agriculture