WENATCHEE — “Welcome to the spa on Worthen Street.”
That’s how Mayor Frank Kuntz helped launch the ribbon cutting Wednesday on the city’s newly rebuilt, state-of-the art, sewage-treatment plant.
And, like a spa, make overs do happen here, at least if you’re raw sewage.
A combination of art, architecture and technology mask the nasty business with arches, curves, colors and xeriscape flowers in full bloom that complement the plant’s neighbor, Wenatchee Riverfront Park.
The process captures the plant’s stinky odor and transports it underground to a series of odor beds adorned with a grid of varying colors and textures of landscape rock.
Inside the bed, microorganisms feast on the components in the air that give off the bad odor. The air that filters upward is clean.
Kuntz pointed to the success of the project as a catalyst for the residential and commercial development happening today along the city’s Columbia River shoreline.
This includes a large apartment complex under construction at the foot of Ninth Street, and Pybus Public Market, which opened this year.
Nearly 40 people attended the event including former Mayor Dennis Johnson, who launched the project in 2011.
Representatives of general contractor Apollo Inc. and East Wenatchee design firm HDR Engineering were on hand to answer questions during plant tours.
Seattle-area artists Carolyn Law and Gwen Demombynes described how their illuminated artwork at the plant traces the purification process. It also adds interest to make the plant almost a tourist attraction.
The lights go on nightly at dusk.