Anatone engages engineering students to design a better sewage solution
Anatone engages engineering students to design a better sewage
University Civil Engineering student, Tyler Dester presents a senior class
team project, Anatone Sewer Project, to local homeowners at the Anatone
Community Hall, last December 5, 2006. Photo credit to Cheryl Sonnen,
Asotin County Conservation District (ACCD).
Asotin County, City of Anatone
years, the 45 residents of the tiny town of Anatone in Asotin County have known
they needed a solution to their sewage problems Earlier last year, a group of
residents wrote personal checks to allow a group of civil engineering students
from Washington State University (WSU) to help them out. Working with
professional engineers as part of their senior design project, the students
designed a sewage collection, treatment and disposal system for the town. They
also provided a detailed cost estimate for the project and information on grant
programs that the town can apply for to help offset the costs. The students
presented their design to area residents at the Anatone Community Hall.
"Residents of Anatone rely on antiquated septic systems," says Cheryl Sonnen,
resource technician for the Asotin County Conservation District. "The systems
are built in poorly drained soils, possibly leaking into Mill Creek, a
steelhead-bearing stream" said Sonnen. The town wanted to search for ways to
comply with water quality regulations. Applying for grants requires detailed
design plans and cost estimates which can be costly. Sonnen talked to a WSU
alumni who told her about the college’s senior design projects. She then
contacted Shane Brown to get the project off the ground. During the fall, the
students came for a site visit and surveying. They also held a community
meeting, presented three options to area residents and gathered feedback. "This
has been an outstanding group of students," Sonnen said. The students designed a
project that links the septic tanks and using gravity or low-pressure sewer
lines, takes the effluent to a disposal drainfield about 1,000 north of town.
Students who worked on the project are Kelsey Laughlin, Eric Ferguson, Dan
McCracken and Tyler Dester. Brown is their advisor. Tina Hilding, communications
coordinator, College of Engineering and Architecture, WSU and The Blue Mountain
RC&D is also working with the Asotin County Conservation District, Asotin City
Engineer and Anatone Homeowners to resolve the sewer issue.
Asotin County Conservation District (ACCD), Cheryl Sonnen,
Resource Technician; Washington State University, Department of Civil and
Environmental Engineering, Shane Brown,WSU Clinic Assistant Professor. Anatone
homeowners, Bob Hough; Blue Mountain RC&D Council, Jerry Hendrickson, President
Shallow, clay soils. Not conducive to well drained, efficient
septic systems. Outdated, unimproved and inefficient residential septic systems.
Proximity to feeder streams that drain to anadromous fish streams, Mill Creek in
the Mill Creek Watershed. A long term problem that has been acknowledged; and
now, finally being addressed. Coordination with local school district for siting
of sewage collection area. Identification of funding to support the project. Few
homeowners to carry the financial burden of necessary infastructure
improvements. Homeowners know they need to act...and soon.
RC&D Program has enabled project facilitation, and a partnership
with the local conservation district will help in future project funding.
Conservation partnership strengthens relationship with Asotin
County Conservation District and local homeowners. WSU students complete senior
project assisting local residents by designing a sewage collection system,
treatment and sewage disposal system for Anatone residents. One option for a
long term, relatively low cost solution is presented.
Homeowners are empowered to continue the process to resolve their long-term
sewage disposal issues. Asotin County Engineer, Asotin County CD, Blue Mountain
RC&D and Anatone homeowners are meeting to plan the next step toward a solution.
This includes homeowners identifying themselves as an LID - Landowner
Improvement District or a Water Sewer District (WSD).
Lisa Naylor, Blue
Mountain Resource Conservation & Development Office, (509) 382-8968
NRCS, Spring 2007
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