Hermiston & WEID Honored for Recycled Water Project

Release Date: 

Hermiston, Ore. –   The City of Hermiston and the West Extension Irrigation District (WEID) are being honored by the Oregon Water Resources Department with the Tyler Hansell Agricultural Efficiency Award for their cooperative effort which now treats the community’s sewage to a Class-A water standard and is available to irrigate local farms.


Hermiston sewer rate payers footed the bill to fund a $23 million upgrade to the community’s treatment system, which became fully operational in the Fall of 2014.  With nearly three years-worth of data available from transforming municipal sewage to Class A water, the increase in discharge quality is crystal clear.


Total Suspended Solids (TSS) in the City’s discharge averaged 14 Parts Per Million (PPM) in the year prior to the new system operating.  Since that time, TSS levels are down to just 1.0 PPM.  Ammonia levels have also plummeted from 16.1 PPM to less than 1.0 PPM, and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) has fallen to 1.0 PPM, from an average of 18.0 in 2014.


“The goal of this Class A recycled water that we’re discharging now is to be virtually indistinguishable from drinking water,” said William Schmittle, Recycled Water Plant Superintendent.


Although the cost of the plant upgrade is being paid back by Hermiston sewer customers, the community still enjoys very low rates compared to other cities in the Northwest.  An independent analysis conducted by Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc., released in 2016, surveyed the water and sewer rates of the 51 largest cities in Oregon, and the 70 largest cities in Washington.  Hermiston’s current sewer rates rank as the 4th lowest in Oregon, and would rank as the 6th lowest compared to Washington cities.  A link to the Raftelis survey is available at http://www.raftelis.com/news/2016-waor-survey-now-available/


Accessibility Statement - The City of Hermiston is committed to making its electronic and information technologies accessible to individuals with disabilities. We are currently in the process of upgrading our web site to ensure we meet or exceed the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA and the Web Accessibility Initiative Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI-ARIA) 1.0 for web content.

For more information on how to report an issue related to the accessibility or how to file a formal Section 504 or ADA (Title II) complaint about the accessibility of any content on our website, please see our full Accessibility Statement.

Anti-Discrimination Policy - It is a policy of the City of Hermiston that there will be no discrimination or harassment on the grounds of race, color, sex, marital status, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability in any educational programs, activities or employment. For more information, visit the Anti-Discrimination Policy page.