Port of Bremerton gets into a SEED frame of mind

An environmentally friendly building piece that may some day be part of a green business cluster planned by the Port of Bremerton should be installed soon in the South Kitsap Industrial Area, port officials announced.

Ken Attebery, chief executive officer for the port, said his agency has been “talking with Karcher Creek (Sewer District) for a long time” about installing a wastewater treatment system in at least part of its Sustained Energy Economic Development (SEED) project.

“This is integral to how we’re viewing the SEED project,” Attebery said, explaining that the membrane bioreactor (MBR) wastewater treatment system Karcher Creek will be installing in a new industrial building at the port’s Olympic View Business Park is something he and the other officials have always envisioned utilizing in SEED.

“This will keep the wastewater within the project (and use it again) instead of simply sending it out to the treatment plant,” he said, explaining that being able to collect and treat water on-site means the building can potentially re-use water for irrigation and other applications.

Attebery said the system the port will soon be using is made by Huber Technology, and is a smaller version of the MBR system the sewer district is already using in Port Orchard.

“They purchased a couple of smaller units (like this one), and having it on one of our buildings will allow the sewer district to monitor and field test how the system works in a commercial setting,” he said, explaining that all of the outflow will still be going to the treatment plant as usual.

“Karcher Creek has been looking for an industrial site to help establish protocols and performance data for the system’s use in light commercial building applications, and (this) project fits the sewer district’s needs perfectly,” said Larry Curles, Karcher Creek’s general manager, in a prepared statement. “We have thoroughly tested this system at (our facility) and have been seeking a field test for further evaluation.”

Commissioner Mary Ann Huntington said the port “jumped at the opportunity” to install the system, explaining that it “fits so well with the established objective of SEED, (since) total water re-use is a major component of the SEED project model.”

Since the sewer district will be installing the system as a field test, Attebery said the port is not paying for it.

“Karcher Creek will own it, and will install it in the parking area,” he said, adding that the system will be about the size of a parking space.

According to John Poppe, Karcher Creek’s plant manager, the system will be installed below ground, completely self-contained and present no potential harm to the environment since it is being placed into the existing sewer system.

Also, all wastewater will continue to travel to the treatment plant as before.

Attebery said the port has also the Kitsap County Health District to assist with the testing.

He said the system is not being installed into the first building of SEED, but it will be used in a new industrial building under construction by SaTraP, LLC, which is a “stone’s throw away” from the site of the project’s planned “Pod 1.”

A 75-acre section of the South Kitsap Industrial Area (SKIA) has been designated for SEED, which, along with financial support from Kitsap County government and the sewer district, has already received a $427,500 allotment from the federal Economic Development Administration and a state capital allocation of $800,000.

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