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City, ONP meet on Elwha sediment issue

May 6th, 2013 - 5:29am

(Port Angeles) -- City of Port Angeles and Olympic National Park officials say they've opened lines of communication.

But there is still no resolution to sediment problems in the Elwha River that could threaten the city's water supply.

Both sides met last week to discuss and share concerns about ongoing issues of the quality and quantity of treated water at the Elwha Water Facilities.

The treatment facilities have been overrun with debris and sediment as a result of removal of two dams on the river.

The problem began last fall, when material that should've been screen out made it into the facilities clogging filters and pumps.

ONP hired a contractor to fix the problem, but more inspections found more fixes were needed. A final plan has not been released. But the problem is expected to delay finishing the dam removal project.

City officials remain concerned the sediment could impact water supplies both through the treatment plants and possible clogging of the city's Ranney Well.

ONP superintendent Sarah Creachbaum says they want to work with the city to keep talking about possible solutions to the problem.

City manager Dan McKeen called last week's meeting "positive" and was pleased with the Park Service's committment to move forward with a solution.

Park officials plan to brief the city council on the sediment issue at tomorrow night's council meeting.

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