A poop tour and the Olympic Peninsula

March 28, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I took a brief and much-needed break this weekend to tour another poop factory and then go “camping” with some new friends out on the Olympic peninsula. I hadn't been out that way yet, so it was a pleasant weekend of beer, ice cream, and rain with a bunch of folks I'm super glad I've gotten to know better.   

The Brightwater Treatment Plant is Seattle's newest and most advanced wastewater treatment facility.  Most of the equipment is underground, and they promised the neighborhood they were building the facility in a zero odor environment.  

The whole setup is automated and only requires one to two personnel to monitor the equipment.

Our guide, Kristin Covey, holding (top to bottom) untreated sewage, primary effluent, and post treatment water.  The water from this facility is gravity-fed thirteen miles under Seattle to Puget Sound.  

This control room is where the single operator manipulates the facility.  

This was a good tour - the city is rightly proud of the solutions they've put in place to handle a utility that was previously an environmental disaster.  Half-treated sewage wrecked huge parts of Lake Washington years ago, and this facility is one part of a larger effort to mitigate the impact of a high-density area like Seattle.  

After a nap, I took a scenic drive through the Tacoma area and up to Port Angeles, where we chilled in a cabin right next to the Olympic National Park and got sporadically rained on.  

I learned long ago to always be friends with the cook - Sterling here makes a heck of a breakfast sandwich.

Alan and I bonded over mutually shared "quit job-left friends-drove van" experiences.  He's allowing me to use the phrase "ad-van-ture", which I like a lot better than my self-proclaimed "aimless nomadic wandering".  

Alan and I do not share his fascination with banana slugs, several of which helped themselves to some of our fine craft brews.  I don't know if slugs get hangovers, but thanks to Alan, I know everything else I'll ever need to know about their nocturnal habits.  

I didn't get any pics of the whole crew, but I did take an chance to show off my color-arranging skills with a few.  We left the cabin in t-shirts and drove to a nearby lake, where the weather required these outfits instead.

Then we got ice cream, rode the ferry home, and that was that.  I had a thoroughly enjoyable time, and had fun flexing my very weak portraiture skills a little.  We'll return to our regular scheduled art theory posts soon.   


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