The Burbank Business Park will have the first sewer service in the western Walla Walla County community in early spring 2014.
Port of Walla Walla commissioners agreed Wednesday to pay Apex of Portland $1.3 million to drill and place a sewage line under the Snake River to connect the park to Pasco's sewer system. "It was a big decision," said Jim Kuntz, the port's executive director.
The total cost of the project will be about $2.1 million, he said.
The port has worked since early 2012 to establish sewer service to the business park to spur economic development. Currently, the entire community of Burbank relies on septic systems to handle its waste.
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Commissioners reached an agreement with the city of Pasco last year to purchase 100,000 gallons of daily sewer capacity for $900,000 paid over three years. The port will buy additional capacity in the next 15 years and also pay the city and other sewer fees.
Kuntz said work on the pipeline should start this fall with Apex drilling under the Snake River before placing the sewage line. The project does carry some risks, he said.
"You can't always predict whether the rock will be stable," Kuntz said.
Port officials have been focused on bringing in business to the western side of the county, potentially as a transportation hub.
The business park allows commercial and light industrial zoning, meaning distributors could have warehouse operations with easy access to Highway 12.
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