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    The Elwha Valley's Olympic Hot Springs Road is closed to public entry beyond the Altair Campground during removal of the Glines Canyon Dam. Olympic Hot Springs is not accessible from the Elwha.

National Park Service Awards Contract For Port Angeles Water Treatment Plant, Marking Key Step Towards Elwha River Restoration

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Date: September 7, 2007
Contact: Olympic National Park: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
Contact: Denver Service Center: Edie Ramey, 303-969-2168

The National Park Service’s Denver Service Center (DSC) has selected a joint venture of Watts Constructors LLC and John Korsmo Company (Watts/Korsmo A JV) as the prime contractor to construct the Port Angeles Water Treatment Plant in the City of Port Angeles. 

Watts Constructors LLC has offices in California and Hawaii and John Korsmo Company is based in Tacoma, Washington.  The home office for Watts/Korsmo A JV is in Gig Harbor, Washington.  The new plant is designed to protect Port Angeles municipal water supply during and after removal of the two Elwha dams.

“With award of this contract, we are ready to begin the first active phase of Elwha River Restoration,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Bill Laitner.  “This is a tremendously exciting moment, and one that culminates years of planning, design and close working relationships with many parties including the City of Port Angeles, the state of Washington and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.”

As stipulated in the Elwha River and Ecosystem Restoration Act of 1992, water quality protection measures for the City of Port Angeles and Elwha water users must be completed and in place before dam removal can begin.

The new water treatment plant will provide water for Port Angeles that meets State of Washington drinking water standards during and after removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams.

“As we begin construction of the new Port Angeles Water Treatment Plant, we are one step closer to dam removal and Elwha River restoration,” said Laitner. 

The contract award and cost of the new treatment plant is $24,482,750, which will provide a facility designed to provide up to 10.6 million gallons of treated water daily to the City’s water distribution system.

The National Park Service expects to issue a Notice to Proceed to Watts/Korsmo A JV within the next month.  The contractor will then have two years to complete the project.  That time may be adjusted based on any changes that may be required during construction. 

The water treatment plant project was designed by the Seattle, Denver, and Portland offices of

URS Corporation.  Construction management services will be provided by the Bellevue office of HDR, Incorporated.

In the near future, the National Park Service will issue a Request for Proposals for construction of the Elwha Water Facilities (EWF), including the Elwha Surface Water Intake, the Elwha Water Treatment Plant, upgrades to the Crown “Z” Water Road for construction access, and area Flood Protection, all under a second contract.  The estimated range of construction for EWF is $50 to $70 million. 

The Elwha River is the largest watershed on the Olympic Peninsula and was once one of the most productive salmon streams in the Pacific Northwest, home to all five species of Pacific salmon, as well as other fish species.  Two dams, constructed in the early 1900s, now block fish from all but the lower five miles of the river.  Removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dam will restore the Elwha to its natural, free-flowing condition and will once again allow fish access to over 70 river miles of habitat now protected within Olympic National Park.  Dam removal will begin after the water quality protection facilities are complete.

Did You Know?

Mossy trees in the Hoh Rainforest

...that one criterion for the determination of a temperate rain forest is that the amount of moss and other epiphytes exceeds the weight of all the foliage (leaves and needles) per acre by at least two times.