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This week in history - from The Arlington Times archives

10 Years Ago 1997

Construction of Arlingtons new wastewater treatment plant will begin soon, with the City Councils approval of a bid from Impero Construction Company. The project will be managed by EarthTech, the designers of the new plant. City Council approved a contract with EarthTech the month before. Wastewater plant operator Bruce Schlagel will also be on site, though supervising the operation of the existing plant is his primary responsibility. Construction of the new 300-foot long and 30-foot high treatment plant will not only make a powerful visual impact on entry into the city heading east on SR 530, it will also accommodate another million gallons of wastewater from city households and businesses every day. The maximum capacity of the current plant, which was built in 1973, is 1 million gallons and the average is 619,000 gallons per day, based on 1996 numbers, said Schlagel. The current plant is stressed to capacity during the rainy season due to inflow from surface water drainage and leakage into the citys aging sewer pips. The aging pipes of the downtown area are another project on the city's docket. The new treatment plant, which will house two large tanks, will stand parallel to Minor Street at the west edge of the current treatment plant property. The treatment plant is north of Burke Avenue between West (SR 9) and Minor Street. Minor Street is not a through road at this time, though it will become highway along Burke Street, straight west, to intersect with Highway 9 at the southwest corner of the treatment plant. The new treatment plant will have a 3 million gallon capacity of wastewater per day, though initially the mechanical equipment installed will process only 2 million gallons. This allows the city to add capacity to process another million gallons of wastewater later at a much lower cost. We will save money by building the maximum tank size now, while adding the mechanical equipment later, said Schlagel. The new plant will use a state-of-the-art ultraviolet disinfection system. The mechanical process currently used begins with mixing and aeration in one tank. The liquid then moves to the clarifier where solids (sludge) are settled to the bottom and then removed to a different tank where lime is added to stabilize the bacteria. Finally sludge is distributed on the grass at the Arlington Airport. The clear effluent is then treated with chlorine and discharged to the river. The process of aeration, settling and sterilization will also be used in the new system, but ulaviolet rays rather then chlorine will finalize the sterilization process in the new system, the entire process takes place in one of two sequence batch reactor tanks. Each of the new tanks will be able to complete five cycles a day. The ultraviolet purifying process is different from the chemical process of chlorinization. It uses radiation, or light rays, rather then chemicals to destroy the cell walls of bacteria. In the new treatment plant, the dirty water will be exposed to high intensity light bulbs in closed chambers, resulting in purified water. Phase Two of the new treatment plant should be up and running by December 1997 and construction will be complete by March 1998, said Schlagel. Phase Two, which includes new sludge handling facilities, will be constructed later. The plan for Phase Two is not definite yet, but it involves turning sludge into marketable compost, said Ed McMillan, Public Works Director. As part of the construction project, several existing structures will be removed within the current plant as well as two places adjacent to the site. One of the houses which will be demolished currently houses Helping Hands and the Arlington Food Bank. Since then city utility bills have gradually increased.

25 Years Ago 1982

The Citys solid waste committee wants to re-create a recycling center in Arlington. Tim Teague, committee chairman, has discussed the topic with area residents to acquire ideas, but would like to hear from more community members interested in helping form or operate a recycling center. The committee wants to make it a community oriented activity, Teague said. The impetus of the recycling center idea was the committees concern over the Snohomish County landfill problems. A 20-year obligation bond was acquired to open the landfill but its life expectancy is 1985. In order to pay off the Cathcart bond before purchasing another to open a new landfill, the county solid waste division raised the rate. Without the increase, county residents would be paying for the Cathcart bond and a new landfill bond. The dumping rates shouldnt change much between the expiration of the old bond and the new bond, said Richard Owings, county solid waste division manager. The 75 percent landfill rate increase became effective April 11, jumping Arlingtons dumping fee from $3.95 to $10 per compact cubic yard. Although the city didnt pass this increase on to the Arlington residents this year, its possible next year, said David Crow, Arlington City Supervisor. To reduce the citys cost for disposing of garbage, the solid waste committee hopes to trim the amount of city waste through recycling. Today the city dumps 50 compacted cubit yards of garbage a week. The majority (of the garbage) is recyclable stuff, Teague said. If a recycling program is created it will cut the number of cubic yards of garbage so the city pays the county less and the Arlington residents pay the city less for their garbage collection.

50 Years Ago 1957

The H.A. Jensen home on R. 2 (upper Jim Creek), was totally destroyed by fire Monday morning by a fire that apparently started in the upper story or attic. Mr. and Mrs. Jensen are away visiting in Idaho and the house was occupied by members of the family, who were not aware of the fire until it was discovered on the roof. The alarm was phoned in to Arlington, a truck being dispatched from headquarters. The Arlington department contacted the Navy Dept. at the Jim Creek Radio Station, which is not far from the Jensen home, and they responded with a truck and crew. Difficulty in drafting water from a swift, shallow stream retarded the firemen in securing water, and the house was quickly engulfed in fire. As there was a spark arrester on the chimney, it is not thought the fire started from the roof. However, it is quite certain it started above the second floor.
Beginning Saturday, April 13, 1957, the Arlington post office will be closed all day and there will be no rural delivery service thereafter on Saturdays, according to word received by Postmaster Robert Meier. The order also directs that the office be open on weekdays, Monday through Friday, for 8 1/2 hours or from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, there will be no third class meter accepted for mailing after April 29, except merchandise, drugs, etc. The order, states Meier, apparently is scheduled to go into effect Saturday, unless Congress makes sufficient appropriations to provide for the services which otherwise will be discontinued.

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