Wastewater treatment plant set to get more fencing to protect against break-ins

Wastewater treatment plant set to get more fencing to protect against break-ins.

YAKIMA, Wash. - Some complain about the smell coming from the wastewater treatment plant if you get too close, but the city has complained about having too many unwanted guests.

Plant manager Mike Price said the Yakima Greenway was moved closer to the facility a few years ago. Which has increased traffic and the number of break-ins.

“With just the existing chain link fence, when contractor trailers and equipment are parked along the west edge of the plan, we've had situations where people have lifted up the chain-link fence and accessed the plant,” he said.

To help keep people out of the plant, Yakima's city council approved an almost $100,000 project to extend this fence another 450 feet.

The added security would close off the property on the south side and put another barrier around the chain link fence that's had problems keeping people out.

Public works director Scott Schafer said they've been working on fixing this issue since 2012.

Our wastewater treatment plant is one of the city's largest assets, but it can be a very dangerous place.

Dangerous for people breaking in and others that may come in contact with the processed water.

Price said any careless changes to a system that treats over 10 million gallons of wastewater a day could be hazardous.

“It could jeopardize environmental health if people move things, touch things, manipulate equipment that they're not trained for,” he said.

Schafer said the added fence will help protect the public, plant employees and look pleasing for people walking along the Greenway.

The new gate won't hold back the smell, but Schafer said it won't do any worse than what they already have.

“It's one of those things where a simple chain-link fence hasn't been the solution,” Schafer said.

The city plans to choose a bid from local contractors within the coming weeks. If everything goes smoothly, the project could have everything done by the end of fall.

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