Winter 2013
Public Works Installs a New Vehicle Wash Station

After several years of pinching pennies to save the funds necessary to build its very own vehicle wash station at its Operations & Maintenance Center, the Public Works & Utilities Department has completed the project. “This has been a goal of ours for a long time,” says Tod Moles, the City’s Street/Stormwater Manager who oversees the public works equipment yard, “and we made it happen.”

The vehicle wash station serves important purposes as part of the City’s strategic initiative to eliminate storm and surface water drainage pollutant discharges into the Puget Sound. “Not only does it help us to maintain our equipment and compliance with the City’s federal NPDES permit, but the fact that we were able to do it at significant cost savings to the taxpayer by using our own staff labor makes it even better,” Moles explains. Utilizing the corner of an existing equipment storage structure, City crews worked together to construct the vehicle wash station using the professional skills the citizens of Edmonds have learned to rely upon from their public servants.

The runoff from the washing station will flow through the City’s sewer utility system approximately three miles to the Edmonds wastewater treatment plant. This design will help prevent contaminated water from entering the Puget Sound. “Mitigating the adverse environmental impact of the frequent washing of City vehicles is important and we found the most effective and cost-efficient way to achieve that outcome,” says Public Works & Utilities Director Phil Williams. Initial estimates for contract construction of the facility reached up to $200,000 but with a little bit of public works ingenuity the grand total for the vehicle wash station came in at just under $10,000 including man hours.

The Public Works & Utilities Department hopes to improve the station further in the near future with more advanced water recycling technology. “You can definitely count on our staff to come through when it matters most,” says Mayor Earling, “Puget Sound does start here and our whole team works hard to live up to the environmental standards that should be expected of our local government.”
wash station before   wash station after                             Before                                                                                       After

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