Meeting strict environmental standards
Wastewater treatment and reclaimed water production are highly regulated to ensure protection of public health and the environment. LOTT strives to operate its facilities in full compliance with its regulatory permits. LOTT has an excellent track record of permit compliance, and often treats water to a higher quality than that required by permit.
It is a misconception that LOTT discharges untreated wastewater to Budd Inlet during high flow events. Actually, LOTT has had only two such discharges (called combined sewer overflows) since 1991. These occurred in December 2007 and January 2009, both the result of severe storms in which more than five inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period.
The misconception may come from the fact that as part of its permit, LOTT must report on spills that occur in the collection systems that carry wastewater to LOTT’s treatment plants. Each of LOTT’s partner cities – Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater – own and operate collection systems. Spills occasionally occur in the collection systems, usually because of blockages in pipelines, pumps, or other equipment.